Spot shrimp season begins on May 16 and May 17 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet and Hood Canal, depending on the specific marine area. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Spot shrimp season begins on May 16 and May 17 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet and Hood Canal, depending on the specific marine area. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

OUTDOORS: Spot shrimp season begins May 16-17

More razor clam digs this week

OLYMPIA — Most Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca marine areas will open for recreational spot shrimp fishing beginning May 16 and 17.

The Hood Canal and Discovery Bay will open May 17, while the rest of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet will open May 16.

Overall, the 2024 shrimping season will start with similar opportunities compared to 2023, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers said last week.

Fishery managers selected these dates to offer opportunities to harvest shrimp while distributing participants and reducing the chance of exceeding recreational quotas. Due to high expected turnout, fishery managers emphasize that some areas can’t support weekend openings while remaining within their current quota.

All shrimp — including spot, dock, coonstripe, sidestripe and pink shrimp — can be retained as part of the daily limit. However, because only larger-mesh (1-inch) pots or traps are allowed during these announced seasons, most harvest will be spot shrimp. Also known as prawns, spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in Puget Sound and may grow up to 9 inches long.

People can visit WDFW’s recreational shrimp fishing webpage at www.tinyurl.com/wdfwshrimp for the latest regulations, including any announcements confirming potential additional days of opportunity later in the season.

2024 Puget Sound recreational spot shrimp seasons include:

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh Line: Open daily beginning May 16, daylight hours only. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is met or September 15, whichever comes first.

Marine Area 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca, from Low Point to mouth of Sekiu River): Open daily beginning May 16, daylight hours only. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is met or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.

Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca to Point Wilson, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open on May 16-18, May 30-June 1, June 13-16, June 28-30, and July 12-15. Daylight hours only. An announcement regarding additional dates may be made later. The first tentative additional dates are July 26-29 if quota remains. Daylight hours only.

Marine Area 6 (Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open on May 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. only. An announcement regarding additional dates may be made later in the season. The first tentative additional date is May 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. only, if quota remains.

Marine Area 9 (Edmonds, Port Townsend Bay, Admiralty Inlet): Open on May 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. only. Additional dates may be announced later if quota remains.

Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal Shrimp District): Open on May 17-18, May 30, and June 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. only. An announcement regarding additional dates may be made later in the season. The first tentative additional date is June 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. only, if quota remains.

In all areas of Puget Sound, the daily limit per fisher is 80 spot shrimp with a total daily weight limit of 10 pounds (whole shrimp) for all species of shrimp combined. Shrimpers who retain only spot shrimp may remove and discard the heads while in the field and before returning to shore. Shrimpers retaining any shrimp species other than spot shrimp must continue to retain the heads until finished and on shore to verify compliance with the 10-pound daily limit.

Shrimpers are reminded that under the “daylight hours only” rule, traps may be set one hour before official sunrise during any open period in the marine areas without specified harvest hours. These include Marine Areas 4, 5, 6, except for the Discovery Bay Shrimp District. Pots must be removed from the water in these areas by one hour after official sunset at the end of an open period. The start and end times for all other areas are listed above.

Those participating must have a valid 2024-2025 recreational fishing or shellfish license. Licenses can be purchased from WDFW’s licensing website, from regional offices, and from hundreds of license vendors around the state.

More razor clam digs

OLYMPIA — Razor clam diggers can look forward to more digging opportunities on coastal beaches beginning today, WDFW coastal shellfish managers confirmed Monday.

“April digs are finally here, and hopefully they come with milder weather and sunnier days,” said Bryce Blumenthal, a WDFW coastal shellfish biologist. “The best low tides in April fall during the middle of this next digging series with weekend tides that should still provide ample harvest opportunity.”

Not all coastal beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out. Optimal digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide.

The following digs will proceed as scheduled, after marine toxin results from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) showed razor clams are safe to eat.

Confirmed dates during morning (midnight to noon, except until 1 p.m. on April 13-14) low tides include:

Today, 7:29 a.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks.

Wednesday, 8:14 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

Thursday, 9:00 a.m., -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

Friday, 9:48 a.m., -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

Saturday, 10:40 a.m., -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks (digging extended until 1 p.m.).

Sunday, 11:38 a.m., 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Copalis (digging extended until 1 p.m.).

More tentative April dates during morning (midnight to noon) low tides include:

April 23, Tuesday, 6:58 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Copalis.

April 24, Wednesday, 7:30 a.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks.

April 25, Thursday, 8:03 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

April 26, Friday, 8:39 a.m., -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

April 27, Saturday, 9:19 a.m., -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

April 28, Sunday, 10:05 a.m., -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

April 29, Monday, 10:58 a.m., 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks.

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