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Peninsula Daily News
AS DISCUSSED IN this column a few months ago, the spot shrimp season in 2013 will be longer than in past years.
Previously, the nontribal shrimp harvest was evenly split, 50-50, between the sport and commercial fisheries.
This year, the recreational harvest gets a larger slice of the shrimp pie, to the tune of 70 percent.
The increase in quota means the sport season will be open additional days, or weeks in some areas.
In Marine Area 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) will expand by several weeks after the catch allocation in those waters jumped from 15 percent to 22 percent this year.
As it has in previous years, the Hood Canal sport fishery still will receive 100 percent of the shrimp allocation.
However, the area will receive an extra day of harvest in 2013.
The recreational shrimp seasons are as follows:
■ Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 4, 8, 15, 18 and 22.
■ Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 4, 8, 15, 18 and 22.
■ Marine Areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 and 6 (excluding Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open daily beginning May 4 at 7 a.m.
The spot shrimp season in these areas will close when the quota is attained or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
■ Marine Areas 9 (Admiralty Inlet): Open May 4 and May 8 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Additional dates will be announced if sufficient quota remains following the fishing days scheduled above.
The daily limit of 80 spot shrimp is still intact.
Earlier clam seasons
The recreational clam seasons will open earlier at Oak Bay County Park and South Indian Island County Park this year.
These two adjacent beaches, located within sight of each other near Port Townsend, will open on Monday, April 1, after opening in May last year.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said the earlier openings minimizes the chance that Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning closures will impact harvest.
An increase in the clam population at Oak Bay will allow the season last longer in 2013. It will remain open through July 31.
South Indian Island, on the other hand, will have shorter season due to a clam decrease, closing on June 15.
The oyster seasons at both beaches will coincide with these clam seasons.
Other clam seasons
These are the second round of sport clam season changes recently announced for Jefferson County beaches.
Last month, the clam seasons at Point Whitney Tidelands and Dosewallips State Park were shortened.
The Point Whitney Tidelands harvest opened last weekend, and will remain open through Sunday, March 31.
At Dosewallips, the season will also open Monday, April 1, and last through Aug. 15.
The oyster harvest at these two beaches are not affected by these changes.
The oyster season at Point Whitney Tidelands lasts through June 30, while the Dosewallips oyster season is open year-round.
An important public meeting will be held tonight in place of the monthly meeting of the North Olympic Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers.
The club will be hosting the state’s only official North of Falcon public meeting held on the North Olympic Peninsula at 6 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church located at 100 South Blake Ave. in Sequim.
This meeting will be the public’s opportunity to hear and comment on what the state, tribes, and federal government are proposing for the 2013-14 salmon seasons, with primary emphasis on the fisheries of the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Marine Areas 5 and 6), the San Juans (Marine Area 7) and North Puget Sound (Marine Area 9).
Proposals for the ocean chinook fishery also will be covered.
Input from the public comments at the meeting will be considered in setting the final salmon season rules through the North of Falcon process.
Additional information on the process can be found on the state’s website at www.tinyurl.com/northfalcon.
Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at email@example.com.