Elisa Dawson Jason Morgan
Marine Resources Committee Staff Communication Coordinator
Snohomish County Surface Water Management Northwest Straits Foundation
425-388-6466 360-733-1725 ext. 204
Educational Resources Available to Help Reduce the Loss of Crab Pots
Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee and Northwest Straits Foundation partner to provide instructional videos and best practices.
EVERETT, Wash., June 29, 2020 – The Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee and the Northwest Straits Initiative have been working together for nearly two decades to prevent lost or damaged crab pots. Each year an estimated 12,000 crab pots are lost in Puget Sound and thanks to the work of the Northwest Straits Initiative, crabbers are learning how to avoid adding to the problem. Lost crab pots continue to capture crab with no one to harvest them, resulting in nearly 180,000 Dungeness crab lost each year.
Luckily there are several ways crabbers can prevent losing their pots:
- Avoid marine transit and ferry lanes.
- Check tides and currents. Avoid crabbing during strong tidal changes and currents.
- Make buoys more visible. Add a second buoy or stick and flag.
- Use a weighted line to sink below the surface and avoid being cut by passing boats.
- Weight your pot so they do not move in high currents or tidal changes.
- Use longer line. Use one-third more line than the water depth to allow for tide changes.
- Secure lid and escape panels with biodegradable cotton escape cord. This allows crabs to escape from lost pots after the cord degrades.
- Stay with your pot. A watched pot will bring home more crab.
This handy checklist and additional information can also be found at http://www.derelictgear.org. You will find instructional videos, helpful apps and other resources to help catch more crab and avoid having your crab pots become one of the 12,000 lost each year.
In the past, opening-day crabbers could expect to see volunteers with the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee and Washington State University Extension Beach Watchers at local boat launches. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person education will not be available this year.
About the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee
The Marine Resources Committee’s (MRC) goal is to understand, protect, and restore the marine and estuarine ecosystems of the county. Local citizens appointed by County Council use science-based information to develop projects and help shape local and regional marine conservation policy. MRC members work to complement ongoing efforts by both government and non-profit agencies. There are seven MRCs in the Northwest Straits region of the Puget Sound. For more information, visit https://www.snocomrc.org/.
About the Northwest Straits Foundation
The Northwest Straits Foundation is the non-profit partner in the Northwest Straits Initiative, a regional marine conservation program authorized by Congress in 1998. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and at https://nwstraitsfoundation.org/.
About Snohomish County Public Works
The Snohomish County Public Works Department constructs and maintains county roads; controls and manages surface water quantity, quality, and fish habitats; and oversees the recycling and disposal of solid waste. The department’s main office is located at 3000 Rockefeller Ave., Everett, WA 98201. For more information about Snohomish County Public Works, visit www.snohomishcountywa.gov/PublicWorks.