Fishing

Prawn fishing might be limited to 1 day

People setting pots for spot shrimp in the waters of Tacoma and Vashon Island will likely have just a one-day season this year. Last year, three days of shrimping were allowed.

In announcing the recreational shrimp fishing seasons for Puget Sound, Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the seasons will be similar to those in 2014.

The issue for Marine Area 11 (Tacoma) and Elliott Bay in Seattle, part of Marine Area 10, is overfishing during the 2014 season.

“Last year, we had better fishing and a higher turnout than anticipated in the Tacoma-Vashon Island area and Elliott Bay, resulting in quota overages,” O’Toole said in a department news release. “For that reason, those areas are scheduled to be open only one day, but we will reopen the areas later if sufficient quota remains after opening day.”

Also called prawns, spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in Puget Sound and can grow up to 9 inches in length. In all areas of Puget Sound, fishermen are limited to 80 spot shrimp per day. A valid 2015-16 fishing license is required to participate in the fishery.

In some central Sound marine areas, the typical Saturday and Wednesday schedule will be disrupted May 6, due to an extremely low midday tide, O’Toole noted. Those areas will be open May 13, instead.

Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains after the initial fishing days scheduled. For the latest information on sport shrimp seasons, or for a description of marine areas, go to wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp.

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