Washington's recreational spot shrimp fishery opens May 5 in Puget Sound

OLYMPIA – Sport fishing for spot shrimp opens May 5 in Puget Sound under seasons announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Shrimp fishing opportunities in various areas of Puget Sound will be similar to last year, although there is one change this season that was made to avoid an extreme minus tide, said Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist for WDFW.

Unlike previous years, the shrimp fishery will not reopen on the following Wednesday after the May 5 opener. Instead, the fishery will reopen in most areas on Friday, May 11.

“With such an extreme low tide on that Wednesday (May 9) it only made sense to shift the second day of fishing to Friday,” O’Toole said. "We don’t want to leave shrimpers stranded 100 feet from the boat ramp on a low afternoon tide.”

In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day. A valid 2012-13 fishing license is required to participate in the fishery.

O’Toole said 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,” he said. “As always, we ask that people be patient at the ramps and wait their turn."

Spot shrimp seasons for various areas of Puget Sound are:

  • Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 5, 11, 12 and 16.
  • Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 5, 11, 12 and 16.
  • Marine areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 and 13 (excluding shrimp districts): Open daily beginning May 5 at 7 a.m. The spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained or Sept. 15, whichever comes first. The exception is Marine Area 13, which closes for spot shrimp May 31.
  • Marine Area 7: Opens May 5 at 7 a.m. and will be open May 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19.
  • Marine areas 8, 9, 10 and 11: Open May 5 and May 11 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Additional dates and times will be announced for these areas if sufficient quota remains.

For a description of the marine areas and fishing rules, including regulations for coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing seasons, see WDFW’s Recreational Shrimp Fishing website HERE.

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