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Sport crabbing season closed

The recreational winter crabbing season closed after sunset on Dec. 31. Licensed sport crabbers must report their winter catch by Feb. 1.

Puget Sound marine areas, including Hood Canal, marine area 12, and Bremerton, marine area 10, will be closed to recreational crabbing until summer 2012.

All licensed crabbers should submit their winter catch reports, even if they did not catch any crab this season, to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Accurate numbers are critical to managing the Puget Sound crab fishery, said Rich Childers, the department’s shellfish policy lead.

Failure to submit reports by the deadline will result in a $10 fine when purchasing next year’s crab license, according to the release.

The online reporting system will be available on the department’s website from Jan. 1 to Feb. 1.

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