Camano Island Are You Crabby? It’s Crabbin’ Time!Posted: June 27, 2011
Camano Island crabbies here we come!
It’s that time of year again – get the buckets and head to the beach, because crabbing season is almost here, opens July 1st!
Puget Sound is the home of some of the most delicious crab in the world, and here on Camano Island we can drop crab pots all season and pull out some of the largest, most delectable specimens you can dream of.
While there are several different types of crab in Puget Sound, the types that are allowed to be caught by the State are Rock crab and Dungeness crab. Most people will catch the Dungeness, for a few reasons. A full grown adult can get up to 10” in diameter. They are also easier to catch, as they live in depths of water from inter-tidal to up to 500 feet!
Before hitting the beach and dropping your pots, let’s make sure we don’t run up against the strong arm of the law! Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Gear — there are a few regulations to be aware of and comply with. For the full list, check out this Camano Island crabbing rules list. It’ll open in a new window so make sure you come back to this one to read more. Here’s a quick run-down: 1. your buoys have to be half red and half white, 2. your pots can’t be bigger than 13 cubic feet, and they have to be attached by a biodegradable cord – no plastic! This ensures your pot won’t keep attracting and killing crabs if it’s lost to the elements.
Remember — don’t just take my word for it, check that link with the rules! Nobody wants to get pinched! ;D
Once you’ve got your gear in line, let’s make sure your catch report card is registered with the state. You need to report every day you go out, even if you don’t bring home any crab. This is to ensure the Dungeness and Rock crab populations aren’t overharvested, keeping the supply sustainable for many more enjoyable years to come. If you don’t report your time crabbing, you’ll be subject to a $10 fine from the state of Washington. In addition to the catch report card, all people out crabbing over the age of 15 have to have a valid Washington fishing license.
Once you have your catch report card for the season, you won’t have to get a new one. That means if you get your card in June before the season officially kicks off, you don’t have to worry about replacing it until Labor Day, when the season rolls over to Fall/Winter crabbing.
For more info, check this link: Camano Island Crabbing. That takes you to the Department of Fish & Wildlife link for our area of Puget Sound. To file your catch report online (you should get a paper copy when you get your license), you can use this link: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/crc.html.
Ok! Now that we’ve got our license, our gear, and our catch report all figured out, we’re ready to hit the water!
Happy crabbing everyone, see you on the Island! — Jan Mather, your Camano Island Crabbing-and-Real-Estate Expert! 360-507-4133