After two months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife announced that the state's coastal waters are set to reopen for fishing on May 26th.
Marine areas 1-3, including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor will open for bottomfish, shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters and other species. Crabbing on the Columbia River is also set to resume.
Neah Bay, Marine Area 4, will remain closed to all recreational fishing and shellfishing as well as halibut and razor clamming on the coast.
Staring May 28th, some areas in Puget Sound are scheduled to open for recreational spot shrimp fishing. Additional areas of Puget Sound and Hood Canal are scheduled to open June 11th.
Only the larger mesh (1 inch) traps are allowed during this season so most of the harvest will be spot shrimp, but all shrimp including dock, coonstripe and pink shrimp can be kept as part of the daily limit. In all areas of Puget Sound you are limited to 80 shrimp a day (if open) during the month of May. A daily limit of 10 pounds of all shrimp with a maximum of 80 spot shrimp is allowed beginning June 1st.
Seasons for non-spot shrimping (dock, coonstripe, and pink shrimp) will begin later this year. More information on recreational shrimp seasons is available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/shrimp
2020 Puget Sound recreational spot shrimp seasons are as follows:
- Marine Area 4 remains closed
- Marine Area 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca): Open daily beginning May 28, daylight hours. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is met.
- Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open May 28, June 1-13 (daily), and then Thursdays through Sundays each week beginning June 18 until quota is met. Daylight hours.
- Marine Area 6 (Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 11, 15 and 28.
- Marine Area 7 South (Iceberg Point, Point Colville, Biz Point, Salmon Bank): Open May 28 and June 1, 11, 15, 26, 28 and 30. Daylight hours.
- Marine Area 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia): Open May 28 and June 1, 11, 15, 26, 28 and 30. Daylight hours.
- Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Speiden Channel, Stuart and Waldron islands): Open May 28, June 1-13 (daily), and then Thursdays through Sundays each week beginning June 18 until quota is met. Daylight hours.
- Marine Areas 8-1 (Saratoga Passage, Deception Pass) and 8-2 (Port Susan, Port Gardner, Everett): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11.
- Marine Area 9 (Edmonds, Port Townsend Bay, Admiralty Inlet): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11.
- Marine Area 10 (Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 east of a line from West Point to Alki Point).
- Marine Area 10 (outside Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 11 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 west of a line from West Point to Alki Point, which includes the Bainbridge Island shrimp fishing grounds).
- Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11.
- Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal Shrimp District): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11, 15, 26, 28 and July 15, 28.
- Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound, Carr Inlet): Closed for spot shrimp harvest this season due to low abundance.