Shrimp season opens May 7

Sport fishing for shrimp opens May 7 in Puget Sound, where resource managers are predicting another good season.

Test fisheries conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have found an abundance of spot shrimp in most areas of the Sound, said Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist for the department.

“Fishing prospects in many areas are looking even better than last year,” said O’Toole, noting that he expects a strong turnout by shrimp fishers – especially on opening day. “Some of the boat ramps can get pretty crowded, so we encourage fishers to be patient and wait their turn.”

In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day. A valid 2011-12 fishing license is required to participate in the fishery.

O’Toole said fishing seasons for various areas of Puget Sound are similar to last year, although fishing time was reduced by one day around the San Juan Islands where last year’s catch exceeded the area catch quota by 2,400 pounds.

In setting this year’s seasons, fishery managers tried to pay close attention to the tides, O’Toole said. “We really don’t want to leave any fisher stranded 100 feet from the boat ramp on a low afternoon tide,” he said.

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