Washington State Crabbing
Regulations for Dungeness Crab
Excerpted from 2005/2006 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, “Sport Fishing Rules”
Washington state residents above the age of 14 and all non-residents
must have a Shellfish/Seaweed License to fish for crab.
As of May 18, 2004, there is a $3.00 endorsement fee to fish for Dungeness Crab in Puget Sound.
Area Min. Size Daily Limit Season/Opening Days and Times /Additional Rules
Puget Sound
Crab season opening dates are based on molt timings in the Marine Areas.
6 ¼" 5 males Click here for Puget Sound seasons
Pacific Ocean
Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, and Marine Area 4 (west of Bonilla Tatoosh Line).
6" 6 males Open December 1 to September 15 for Pot Gear. Open year-round to other gear.
Columbia River
East of a line from exposed end of north and south jetty upstream to a line between Tongue Point and Rocky Point
5 ¾" 12 males Open year-round to all gear. Crab fishers may fish for crab in Oregon waters under Oregon rules and land into Washington ports of the Columbia River.
Harvest Restrictions
Fidalgo Bay Crabbing is prohibited at all times within 25 yards of the Burlington Northern Railroad Trestle.
Padilla Bay Crab gear may only be set or pulled from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset within 25 yards of the Burlington Northern Railroad Trestles located at the north end of Swinomish Slough.
Measurement and Gender Determination
Female Crab
Male CrabMeasure
Measure crab at the widest part of the shell
Dollar bills are not accurate for measuring crab.