Educational resources available to help reduce the loss of crab pots

Piles of crab pots.

Recreational crabbing in Puget Sound began on July 1. According to a news release, each year an estimated 12,000 crab pots are lost in Puget Sound, resulting in the capture of an estimated 180,000 Dungeness crab a year with no one to harvest them.

The Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) and the Northwest Straits Foundation continue to partner to educate crabbers about the problem.

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 checklist and additional information can also be found at The site includes 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.

MRC members will be at the 10th Street Boat Launch in Everett from 6-10 a.m. July 6-7, providing educational materials including free rot cord, bait hooks, and gauges for measuring your catch.

Come with any questions you may have on how to correctly set up your crab pot so you can catch more crab. The goal is more crab for you, less lost pots for Puget Sound.

  1. 12,000 lost crab pots? 180,000 dead crabs? That’s incredibly sad and irresponsible of the crabbers. Please educate yourself and help cut this waste.
    Thank you for this insightful article.

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