OLYMPIA – Recreational spot shrimp fishing in Puget Sound will open Saturday, May 14 – one week later than usual, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Shellfish managers are delaying the popular shrimp fishery until May 14 due to the extremely low tides that are expected to occur midday on the first Saturday in May, which traditionally marks the start of the season throughout Puget Sound.
Low tides of this magnitude will render many boat ramps around Puget Sound unusable for several hours and create poor shrimping conditions, said Mark O’Toole, shellfish biologist for WDFW.
“We’re pushing the season opener to May 14 to allow shrimpers to get the most out of the limited number of days that many marine areas, including Hood Canal, are open each year,” O’Toole said.
WDFW is announcing this change now to give shrimp fishers time to adjust motel or moorage reservations and vacation requests to the second weekend of May, he said.
In past years, the department has adjusted shrimp fishing days later in the season to avoid significantly low tides, but not the season opening date. After 2016, there will not be another extreme low tide on the first Saturday in May until 2021.
WDFW will wait to announce the remainder of the shrimp fishing dates for each marine area until the final 2016 harvest quotas have been determined, likely sometime in February.
“In general, we expect shrimping opportunities in most marine areas to be similar to last year,” O’Toole said.
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/