05/01/2018: "Shrimp Fishery Opens May 5"
Recreational shrimp fishing will open May 5 in Puget Sound under seasons set by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
This year's Puget Sound shrimp fishing seasons are generally similar to those in 2017, said Mark O'Toole, a shellfish biologist for WDFW, noting that he expects a strong turnout by shrimp fishers - especially on opening day.
"Because this is such a popular fishery, boat ramps can get pretty crowded on the opener," he said. "As always, we ask that people be patient at the ramps and wait their turn."
In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 shrimp a day (if open) during the month of May. A valid 2018-19 combination license, shellfish license, or Fish Washington license is required to participate in the fishery.
More information on sport shrimp seasons, and a description of the marine areas, is available on WDFW's recreational shrimp fishing website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/
Though the season opens May 5 for all shrimp (spot, pink and coonstripe shrimp), people are mostly fishing for spot shrimp. Also known as prawns, spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in Puget Sound and may grow up to nine inches in length.
O'Toole said shrimpers should be aware that traps can only be set or pulled from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset each day in marine areas 7 East, South and West. On opening day, one hour before sunrise is approximately 4:40 a.m.
Puget Sound recreational shrimp season opening days are:
• Marine areas 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia) and 7 South (Iceberg Point, Point Colville, Biz Point, Salmon Bank): Open May 5, May 9-12, and May 23-26.
• Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Spieden Channel, Stuart and Waldron islands): Open daily beginning May 5. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains after the initial fishing days scheduled above.