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#1031668 - 06/09/20 12:17 PM 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1058
Seems like I ask here every year. When will the P.S. Crab seasons be announced? It's June 9th for cripes sake! The WDFW website states, "Closed. Will not open prior to Thursday July 2, 2020." At least that information is a change from what has been posted there. Is it even going to open at all with Covid around?
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#1031673 - 06/09/20 01:25 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/policies/puget-sound-crab-fishery.

You should expect pretty much what we had last summer except for MA 10 and MA 11. MA 10 remains in a pay back mode while MA 11 is anticipated to have some form of summer season. How those will play out is yet to be determined considering that the State share is approximately the same in each area. Will it be a reduced length of season (like last year in 10) or the full season but fewer days/week within those areas?

Again, yet to be determined.

You may have noticed that there has been a disturbance in the force which has had Staff scrambling to get shrimping opened which has utilized the crab bios.

Patience grasshopper!
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1031678 - 06/09/20 01:52 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
Krijack Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1220
Loc: Tacoma
Larry,
I am a bit worried about what is going down in area 11. The tribe has been crabbing for some time there, so the abundance levels should be fairly clear. If the numbers are coming in low, the state has had plenty of time to put a stop to it. They did reduce there initial goal, but that was some time ago. The lack of an announcement leads me to believe they are waiting for the tribe to finish to see what the abundance was like and how much is left for the recreational fishery. I would not be surprised to see a very reduced availability with the recreational side being allocated much less than what the tribes get. This is not the way it should be happening. At very least, the recs should get an increased share next year if the tribe over takes their share, as the tribe crabbed on their own without an agreement in place.

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#1031690 - 06/09/20 03:26 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
cheapskate Offline
Spawner

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 644
Will MA13 be closed again for red rock crabs?

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#1031693 - 06/09/20 03:45 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
thaxor Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 389
Loc: Olympia, WA
Probably not, even though it's red rock city down here. Especially off harstine.


Edited by thaxor (06/09/20 03:47 PM)

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#1031697 - 06/09/20 04:12 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: Krijack]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Originally Posted By: Krijack
Larry,
I am a bit worried about what is going down in area 11. The tribe has been crabbing for some time there, so the abundance levels should be fairly clear. If the numbers are coming in low, the state has had plenty of time to put a stop to it. They did reduce there initial goal, but that was some time ago. The lack of an announcement leads me to believe they are waiting for the tribe to finish to see what the abundance was like and how much is left for the recreational fishery. I would not be surprised to see a very reduced availability with the recreational side being allocated much less than what the tribes get. This is not the way it should be happening. At very least, the recs should get an increased share next year if the tribe over takes their share, as the tribe crabbed on their own without an agreement in place.


I concur with your concerns. The reason that the tribe took their unilateral action was that WDFW really didn't want a season this year in large part due to low numbers of recruitment age crab. However, once the Puyallups took that unilateral action it upped the ante.

Subsequent negotiations reduced the total quota a bit. The scenario you pointed out where the tribe (which did the test fishery used for negotiations) has its fishery first does, in fact, have the potential for taking more than 50% of the harvestable crab if the total quota was too high in the first place. But to try and prove that in an effort to gain a pay back in future season(s) would certainly be futile.

But if tribal fishers actually harvest more than their half of the quota then, yes, there should be a payback to the State in the next season.

And that is how the ball bounces......
_________________________
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It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1031699 - 06/09/20 04:20 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: thaxor]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Originally Posted By: thaxor
Probably not, even though it's red rock city down here. Especially off harstine.


For the past several seasons I have fought for some form of season just for red rock to no avail. MA 13 will remain closed to all crabbing in 2020 based upon extremely low abundance of Dungeness and other management issues related having just a red rock season.

Similarly, whatever the crab season ends up being in MA 10 and MA 11 do not expect red rock to be open on days it is closed due to the low quota for Dungeness in both areas.
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1031701 - 06/09/20 05:57 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
Krijack Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1220
Loc: Tacoma
Larry,
I have yet to see an agreed to quota. If there is one, then our season should be set. If not, then the state should be prepared to go to court for a payback in next season. Why would the tribe ever set a quota in good faith if they can take 100% of actual abundance with no consequences? I guess we just wait and see.


Edited by Krijack (06/09/20 06:01 PM)

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#1031711 - 06/09/20 07:58 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Total quota is 75,000 pounds with State (recreational) share at 37,500 for MA 11. That number is close to the State's share for MA 10. The management issue is how to structure seasons in 10 and 11 to stay within the State's quotas. More to come.
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1031716 - 06/09/20 10:19 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
Krijack Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1220
Loc: Tacoma
Thanks Larry,
I had been emailing staff but have not had contact for a while. I guess they settled on something after my last email. Hopefully it will all work out ok. I appreciate your insight.

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#1031772 - 06/10/20 09:29 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: Krijack]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Originally Posted By: Krijack
Thanks Larry,
I had been emailing staff but have not had contact for a while. I guess they settled on something after my last email. Hopefully it will all work out ok. I appreciate your insight.


As you probably know WDFW's crab management plan is the 3-S; size, sex and season.

Basically it allows for the harvest of all male crab 6 1/4 inch or bigger under the belief that male crab start mating at about 5 1/2 inches and so will get at least one happy season and maybe two before they reach harvestable size and that those males will be sufficient for breeding.

That 3-S plan may work if other factors don't come into play and particularly if those other factors adversely affect spawning and recruitment over time resulting in an overall downward population trend. Sound familiar?

Even the now retired Shellfish Manager Bob Sizemore intimated that the 3-S system was more appropriate for open ocean waters than enclosed waters like South Sound.

Bottom line - I would have preferred at least another year without a season in MA 11 not only to build up population there but also in hopes of bigger spawns to reseed MA 13. Unfortunately WDFW was put into a no win situation by the action of the tribe.
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1033129 - 06/25/20 06:11 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
stonefish Offline
King of the Beach

Registered: 12/11/02
Posts: 4841
Loc: Carkeek Park
Just an FYI since folks were asking that might not have seen this yet.
SF

https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab
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#1033134 - 06/25/20 06:33 PM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Here is the actual News Release from this afternoon.

If you are used to the summer season running from July through Labor Day 5 days a week (Thurs-Monday) there are a couple wrinkles of which to be aware affecting Areas 10, 11, 12 and 13.


WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

June 25, 2020
Contacts: Don Velasquez, (425) 775-1311, ext. 112;
Jason Wettstein, 360-704-0258

Puget Sound recreational crab seasons begin July 2 in most areas; July 12 in Marine Areas 10 and 11

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced the Puget Sound summer crab fishing season, which gets underway July 2 with openings in several marine areas.

Crab seasons are scheduled to open as follows:

Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), and 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet): Open July 2 - Sept. 7, Thursday - Monday.
Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham): Open July 16 - Sept. 28, Thursday-Monday.
Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia): Open Aug. 13 - Sept. 28, Thursday - Monday
Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): Open July 12 - Sept. 7. Sunday/Monday only.
Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open July 12 - Sept. 7. Sunday/Monday only.
Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point: Open July 2 - Sept. 7, Thursday-Monday
The following areas are closed this season:

Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) south of a line projected true east from Ayock Point: This area is closed to promote recovery of the Dungeness crab population in south Hood Canal.
Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound): This area continues to be closed to promote recovery of Dungeness crab populations.
"WDFW continues to monitor crab abundance throughout Puget Sound and manages crab fisheries to maintain healthy populations," said Katelyn Bosley, lead crustacean biologist for WDFW.

"Dungeness crab populations have shown a moderate increase in parts of central Puget Sound as compared to the past few years," said Bosley. "We are even able to offer a limited recreational fishery in Marine Area 11 that will provide some opportunity for crabbers that have not been able to fish this area the last two years," she added.

Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay - East of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet), and the portion of 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point will open for sport crabbing on Thursday, July 2.

Recreational crabbing in Marine Areas 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-1, 8-2, 9 and 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point will be open Thursdays - Mondays each week. Crabbing in these marine areas is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the summer seasons.

The subareas of Marine area 7 will open later in the summer to protect molting crab. Due to modest crab abundance and high expected crab fishing, marine areas 10 and 11 will have a limited season starting July 12. Marine areas 10 and 11 will be open only on Sunday and Monday each week. All shellfish gear must be removed from the water on closed days.

"In Marine area 10, we had the challenging task of creating as much opportunity as possible, while staying within conservation and state-tribal sharing objectives and also considering increases in crab fishing in recent years and anticipated crab fishing effort," said Bosley.

Marine Area 13 will remain closed in 2020 due to low abundance of crab. Visit WDFW's YouTube page for a short video about how we are working to manage crabs to meet conservation aims in that area.

Summer seasons for the upcoming fishery are posted on WDFW's crab-fishing website.

The daily limit throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 inches. Fishers may also keep six red rock crab of either sex per day in open areas, provided the crab are in hard-shell condition and measure at least 5 inches carapace width.

Crab fishers may not set or pull shellfish gear from a vessel from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.

Puget Sound crabbers are required to record their harvest of Dungeness crab on their catch record cards immediately after retaining the crab and before re-deploying the trap. Separate catch record cards are issued for the summer and winter seasons.

Catch record card information is crucial to managing the Dungeness crab resource in Puget Sound; completed summer catch record cards are due to the Department by October 1, 2020.

Catch record cards are not required to fish for Dungeness crab in the Columbia River or on the Washington coast, where crabbing is open year-round.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. WDFW's fish and shellfish management work supports outdoor livelihoods and lifestyles across the state.



Edited by Larry B (06/25/20 06:44 PM)
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1033176 - 06/26/20 08:40 AM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: RUNnGUN]
Take-Down Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 116
I worked on the crab regulations when they were overhauled a few years back. I believe the season that WDFW is attempting to set in MA-10 is illegal. I don't think they have the authority to start MA-10 on a day other than July 2 and I don't believe they have the authority to change the open days of the week in MA-10. The regs are designed to compel a specific season and opportunity for recreational crabbers each year. If WDFW thinks there is not enough crab they can lower the catch limit, however, the policy is based on the notion that at such time as catch rates fall to a point where it's no longer worth the effort people naturally will scale back. My conclusion is further supported by a belief that this action is not primarily motivated by crab abundance but rather is a trade with the tribes for previous year overharvest. That is not a contemplated reason to start the season late in MA-10 under the regs. Larry, thoughts?

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#1033181 - 06/26/20 09:38 AM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: Take-Down]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Originally Posted By: Take-Down
I worked on the crab regulations when they were overhauled a few years back. I believe the season that WDFW is attempting to set in MA-10 is illegal. I don't think they have the authority to start MA-10 on a day other than July 2 and I don't believe they have the authority to change the open days of the week in MA-10. The regs are designed to compel a specific season and opportunity for recreational crabbers each year. If WDFW thinks there is not enough crab they can lower the catch limit, however, the policy is based on the notion that at such time as catch rates fall to a point where it's no longer worth the effort people naturally will scale back. My conclusion is further supported by a belief that this action is not primarily motivated by crab abundance but rather is a trade with the tribes for previous year overharvest. That is not a contemplated reason to start the season late in MA-10 under the regs. Larry, thoughts?


First, here is a link to the policy as published on the WDFW web site: https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/policies/puget-sound-crab-fishery.

Next, I am NOT an attorney.

So, my understanding is that the policy is guidance and must be read and implemented in consideration of and in compliance with pertinent State laws and Federal court decisions.

So, yes, I think WDFW has the authority (and responsibility) to set seasons to adhere to those operational parameters.

With regard to MA 10 the State fishery over harvested the State share in 2018 and the attempt to pay back that over harvest (thanks Boldt and Rafeedie) by shortening the 2019 summer season did not work resulting in another over harvest and need for further pay back in 2020. This 2020 season is a different approach than implemented for 2019 and as painful as it may be in 2020 if that pain results in the "debt" being fully repaid then 2021 should be less restrictive but may still not be July-Labor Day and 5 days a week.

It is apparent that the goal of a full summer season open 5 days a week for all management areas is problematic particularly with the court decisions requiring that the harvestable crab be shared equally with the tribes. This is particularly true when that total quota is on a downward slide and the number of crabbers doesn't correspondingly decline.
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1033182 - 06/26/20 09:39 AM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: Larry B]
winterchrome Offline
Smolt

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 87
Loc: Oly
Originally Posted By: Larry B
If you are used to the summer season running from July through Labor Day 5 days a week (Thurs-Monday) there are a couple wrinkles of which to be aware affecting Areas 10, 11, 12 and 13.


Not much of a wrinkle in MA 13. Another year for the Rock Crab to get bigger I guess.

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#1033185 - 06/26/20 10:00 AM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: Larry B]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3472
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Quote:
So, my understanding is that the policy is guidance and must be read and implemented in consideration of and in compliance with pertinent State laws and Federal court decisions.

So, yes, I think WDFW has the authority (and responsibility) to set seasons to adhere to those operational parameters.


All policy decisions by the Commission are guidance only. WDFW can follow or not it simply a choice be political ramifications weigh in heavily. To be binding the Commission would have to place the policy in a WAC, which they can do should they choose too.
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#1033191 - 06/26/20 10:27 AM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: winterchrome]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Originally Posted By: winterchrome
Originally Posted By: Larry B
If you are used to the summer season running from July through Labor Day 5 days a week (Thurs-Monday) there are a couple wrinkles of which to be aware affecting Areas 10, 11, 12 and 13.


Not much of a wrinkle in MA 13. Another year for the Rock Crab to get bigger I guess.


Advisor efforts over the last two years to have WDFW open MA 13 (and other areas closed due to low Dungy numbers) for a red rock season has been met with a resounding "thud."

Several reasons have been set forth with the primary one seemingly being enforcement.

If you or others want a red rock season please direct your interest to Katelyn Bosley (katelyn.bosley@dfw.wa.gov) who is the shellfish lead or Aaron Dufault (aaron.dufault@dfw.wa.gov) who is the shellfish manager.
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1033196 - 06/26/20 10:36 AM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: Rivrguy]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2856
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Originally Posted By: Rivrguy
Quote:
So, my understanding is that the policy is guidance and must be read and implemented in consideration of and in compliance with pertinent State laws and Federal court decisions.

So, yes, I think WDFW has the authority (and responsibility) to set seasons to adhere to those operational parameters.


All policy decisions by the Commission are guidance only. WDFW can follow or not it simply a choice be political ramifications weigh in heavily. To be binding the Commission would have to place the policy in a WAC, which they can do should they choose too.


That is my understanding and in general I have no problems with policy being guidance IF (and it is a big IF) the Commission rides herd on Staff's implementation of said policies.

Does the Commission do that satisfactorily? No. And that is a major failure on its part and particularly when they have been abundantly aware of Staff deviating from policy.

The alternative of putting policy into the WAC would likely limit flexibility to manage emergent problems. A prime example is the MMPA which makes it virtually impossible to timely respond to needs for pinniped control. Part of Sir Walter Scott's quote: "Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave."



Edited by Larry B (06/26/20 10:41 AM)
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1033202 - 06/26/20 11:03 AM Re: 2020 P.S. Dungeness Crab Seasons [Re: Larry B]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3472
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Not sure about flexibility for problems but I am sure that being hauled into court every time they violated a policy put in a WAC is the primary reason. WDFW has a real problem following rules let alone the legal definition of things.
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