Puget Sound recreational crab season starts as early as July 1 in some areas

Get out the sticks of butter and the big pots: One of Washington's most popular fishing seasons gets underway soon. 

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has released the schedule for recreational crabbing season, which includes Dungeness crabs - among the most sought after and tastiest crustaceans in our region. 

Starting as early as July 1, crabbers can head to areas like Neah Bay and Deception Pass. More popular waterways around Seattle and Tacoma don't open until later. All are strictly regulated. 

The daily limit throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6¼ inches. Fishers may also keep six red rock crab of either sex per day in open areas, provided the crab are in hard-shell condition and measure at least 5 inches carapace width.

Fish and Wildlife officials expect good returns in many areas this season. All crabbers are required to report their catch on the Fish and Wildlife website

 2021 Crab Season Schedule: 

  • Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), and 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet): Open July 1 - Sept. 6, Thursdays - Mondays.
  • Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham): Open July 15 - Sept. 30, Thursdays-Mondays.
  • Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia): Open Aug. 19 - Sept. 30, Thursdays – Mondays.
  • Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): Open July 11 - Sept. 6. Sundays/Mondays only.
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open July 11 - August 30. Sundays/Mondays only.
  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point: Open July 1 - Sept. 6, Thursdays-Mondays.

The following areas are closed this season to allow weak Dungeness crab populations to increase:

  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) south of a line projected true east from Ayock Point.
  • Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound).

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