When does spot shrimp fishing season start in Washington?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced on Wednesday the start of spot shrimp fishing for the Puget Sound.

Starting May 25, most areas will open for the season. 

WDFW officials said the daily limit is 80 spot shrimp, with a total daily weight limit of 10 pounds of all species combined.  

Spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in the Puget sound and can grow up to nine inches in length. 

"The selected dates reflect a conscious effort to offer opportunities to harvest while keeping participants distributed and reducing the chance of exceeding recreational quotas," said Katelyn Bosley, the WDFW Puget Sound crustacean biologist.

Also, shrimpers who retain only spot shrimp may remove and discard the heads on the water before returning to shore. Before, all shrimp heads were required to be retained after June 1. Shrimpers retaining any shrimp species other than spot shrimp must continue to retain the heads of all species (including spot shrimp) until finished and on shore to verify compliance with the 10-pound daily limit, officials said in a release.

WDFW approves 6 days of razor clam digs starting April 16

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced the next round of razor clam digging that will take place from April 16 to April 21. This time around, the daily limit of clams has increased to 20.

Here’s a list of the Puget Sound areas and important dates for the season: 

  • Marine Area 4 east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line and Marine Area 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca): Open May 25 each day until further notice for all shrimp species. Daylight hours only.
  • Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open May 25-28, June 9-11, June 23-25, July 7-9, and July 21-23. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 6 (Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open on May 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. only.
  • Marine Area 7 South (Iceberg Point, Point Colville, Biz Point, Salmon Bank) and Marine Area 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia): Open May 25-28 and June 9-11. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Speiden Channel, Stuart, and Waldron islands): Open May 25-28, June 9-11, June 23-25, and July 7-9. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Areas 8-1 (Saratoga Passage, Deception Pass) and 8-2 (Port Susan, Port Gardner, Everett): Open on May 25 and June 9 from 8 a.m. to noon only. Note: Divers may take shrimp by hand or hand-held device from 7 p.m. until midnight on May 25 and June 9 in Marine Area 8-2.
  • Marine Area 9 (Edmonds, Port Townsend Bay, Admiralty Inlet): Open on May 25 from 8 a.m. to noon only.
  • Marine Area 10 (Elliott Bay): Will remain closed for 2022 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 east of a line from West Point to Alki Point).
  • Marine Area 10 (outside Elliott Bay): Open May 25 from 8 a.m. to noon (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 west of a line from West Point to Alki Point).
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open May 25 from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal Shrimp District): Open on May 25, May 28, June 9, and June 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. only.
  • Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound, Carr Inlet): Closed for spot shrimp harvest this season due to continued low abundance.

Officials said more dates and times will be announced if enough quota remains after the initial fishing days. 

"Elliott Bay is a productive shrimping ground that sees a lot of participation each year," Bosley said. "Following several years of harvest overages and resulting quota reductions, keeping the fishery closed in Elliott Bay should allow us to open next year with a full quota allotment."

Officials are encouraging shrimpers to check the weather beforehand, to make sure their boats are safely working, check local ramp access and marinas for potential closures or fees and to allow for extra time for boat launching. 

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