Crab not, for molt they do

Published on Thu, Mar 28, 2002
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Crab not, for molt they do

Dungeness and red rock crab are starting to molt in the San Juan Islands area and the state department of fish and wildlife (DFW) has shut down all local crabbing.

Crabbing will stay closed until state biologists determine the crab shells have hardened after the molt. Soft-shelled crabs coming out of the molt initially have no more protection than a plastic bag and are easily injured or killed if they are handled.

Crab and fishing licenses all expire at the end of March and DFW is encouraging all active anglers to get a new license now and avoid the lines. The department anticipates �booming fisheries� this year. The lowland lakes fishing season opening day on April 27 is expected to see close to half a million fishers hit the water.

Fishers will need new licenses as of April 1, but existing regulations stay in effect until the end of April, and a new rules pamphlet should arrive at license dealers before then.

Licenses and rules pamphlets are available at dealers or online. Licenses are available in Blaine at Wolten�s True Value on Peace Portal Drive and at the Bay Center Market on Harborview Road at Birch Bay Drive.

Licenses are also available for purchase by credit card at http://fishhunt

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