Ron Garner with a typical Puget Sound Spot Prawn
OLYMPIA – Recreational spot shrimp fishing will open May 2 in Puget Sound under seasons announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
This year’s Puget Sound shrimp fishing seasons are similar to those in 2014, although quotas will be lower in some areas, said Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist for WDFW.
“Last year, we had better fishing and a higher turnout than anticipated in the Tacoma-Vashon Island area and Elliott Bay, resulting in quota overages,” O’Toole said. “For that reason, those areas are scheduled to be open only one day, but we will reopen the areas later if sufficient quota remains after opening day.”
Puget Sound recreational shrimp season opening days are:
Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 2, 9, 11 and 13.
Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 2, 9, 11 and 13.
Marine areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 and 13 (excluding Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open daily beginning May 2. The recreational 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 East, South and West: Open May 2 for a one-day fishery and will reopen May 13-16, May 20-23 and May 27-30. In Marine Area 7 West only, the season will be open daily beginning June 1 until the quota is reached or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
Marine areas 8-1, 8-2, and 9: Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 2 and May 13.
Marine areas 10 and 11: Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 2. On May 13, the portion of Marine Area 10 west of a line from West Point to Alki Point will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., this includes the Bainbridge Island shrimp fishing ground. Elliott Bay will remain closed on May 13 (Elliott Bay is defined as those waters east of a line from West Point to Alki Point).
In areas 4, 5, 6, 7 (East, South and West) and 13, start times will be one hour before sunrise.
In some central Puget Sound marine areas, the typical schedule of Saturday and Wednesday openings is disrupted Wednesday, May 6, due to an extremely low (or minus) mid-day tide, O’Toole noted. Those areas will be open the following Wednesday, May 13, instead.
Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains after the initial fishing days scheduled above. For the latest information on sport shrimp seasons, or for a description of marine areas, visit WDFW’s Recreational Shrimp Fishing website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/ .
Also known as prawns, spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in Puget Sound and may grow up to nine inches in length. In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day. A valid 2015-16 fishing license is required to participate in the fishery.