Crabbing is a popular activity in Washington for recreational crabbers. With affordable crab pots and high abundance of Dungeness crabs in Puget Sound, pots are lost at an extraordinarily high rate and very few are retrieved. This is a problem for the organisms living on the sea floor as well as crabs that get trapped in these lost pots. There are ways to rig a crab pot so it has a proper escape hatch in case it gets lost, but with an average of 12,000 pots lost per year, prevention is the best strategy.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
The Northwest Straits Commission is working on reducing the loss of crab pots through our #CatchMoreCrab social marketing campaign, piggybacking off Snohomish County MRC’s #CatchMoreCrabSnoCo campaign from 2015. The project goal is to use social media to connect experienced crabbers who are using best practices with new recreational crabbers to learn what they can do to ensure they won’t lose their pot and in turn catch more crab! The Dungeness crab fishery is abundant and we want everyone to be able to benefit from this. If you follow our tips and share it on social media using our hashtags, you’re more likely to keep your pot and your friends will too!
HOW WE’RE DOING IT
Through the use of social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat, we are sharing proper crabbing techniques to prevent loss of crab pots. Use our tips listed below to keep your pot and #CatchMoreCrab, and share your photos on social media with the hashtags to encourage others to do the same.
Below are some of the best crabbing strategies to reduce the number of lost crab pots in Puget Sound.
BEST CRABBING STRATEGIES
#LongerLine - The longer the line, the less likely your crab pot will be lost if currents sweep it to a deeper location.
#WeightedPot - The more weight attached to your pot, the less likely it'll be swept away by currents.
#WeightedLine - Lines that aren't weighted may float at the surface, and are at risk of being cut by a propeller.
#WatchedPots - Those who watch their crab pots rarely lose them!
#CheckedTides - Keeping tabs on the tides will give you an idea of how much line to use.
#CheckedCurrent - If you pot is swept away by currents, you'll know which direction to look.
#HighVisBuoy - If your pot moves, or the waters get rough, a high visibility buoy will help you locate your pot.
#AvoidHighTraffic - Avoiding high traffic areas will reduce the chances that your line gets severed, or your pot gets snagged and towed off.
Join our Instagram campaign
WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife Crabbing information