Crabbing season officially begins this week for the people of north Whatcom County.
The waters stretching from Lummi Island to Point Roberts will open for crabbing at 7 a.m. on Thursday, August 15. Crabbers can harvest every Thursday through Monday until September 30.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife is imposing the same rules and limits on crabs as in the past. All crabs must be a minimum of 6.25 inches across at their widest point, and crabbers are limited to five males each. The department requires fishers to retain the crab’s back shell while in the water, and all soft-shell crabs must be thrown back.
Fishers must retain a catch record card which is submitted to the Department of Fish and Wildlife through their website at the end of the season. These cards are provided when the fishing license is purchased; the cost is $8.75.
Red Rock crabs must be a minimum of five inches wide, and up to six of either sex can be caught. All softshell Red Rocks must be released, and fishers again must retain the crab’s back shell in the field. A catch record is not required for Red Rock crabs.
All crabbing requires a fishing license, which can be purchased from the Department of Fish and Wildlife or from several Whatcom County retailers. For more information, including where to find vendors for licenses and detailed guides on how to identify species of crab, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at wdfw.wa.gov