The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today sports fishing for spot shrimp will opens May 5 in Hood Canal and other parts of Puget Sound.
Shrimping should be similar to last year, although according to Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist, there is one change this season made to avoid an extreme minus tide. “With such an extreme low tide on May 9, it only made sense to shift the second day of fishing to Friday,” O’Toole said in a news release. “We don’t want to leave shrimpers stranded 100 feet from the boat ramp on a low afternoon tide.”
O’Toole expects a strong turnout by shrimp fishers, especially on the Hood Canal 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.”
A valid 2012-13 fishing license is required to participate in the Hood Canal fishery as well as all areas of Puget Sound and fishers are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day.
Spot shrimp seasons for Puget Sound are:
Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 5, 11, 12 and 16.
Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 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.-3 p.m.
Additional dates and times will be announced for these areas if sufficient quota remains.
Unlike previous years, the shrimp fishery will not reopen on the Wednesday after the May 5 opener. Instead, the fishery will reopen in most areas on May 11.
For a description of the marine areas and fishing rules, including regulations, go to WDFW’s Recreational Shrimp Fishing website.