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Shrimp Fishing Gains Momentum

WASHINGTON - In the movie "Forrest Gump" the shrimp-fishing hotbed was the waters off Bayou Le Batre in Louisiana, but you don't have to travel that far south to find the mother lode.

This is a catch of 41 shrimp off Washington waters. Shrimp fishing in the state has grown two-fold in popularity in recent years.

Washington's local marine waters provide excellent shrimp catches, and in recent years the sport fishery has grown two-fold in popularity.

While the well-loved spot shrimp fishery has closed in all inland marine areas — except for another brief fishery in Hood Canal and the San Juan Islands — fishing for tasty non-spot shrimp have become fair game in some places.

South-central Puget Sound (Marine Area 11); northern Puget Sound-Admiralty Inlet (9); and Deception Pass, Hope Island, Skagit Bay, and Ports Susan and Gardner (8) are now open daily for coonstripe and pink shrimp. There is a 150-foot maximum fishing-depth restriction in these areas.

The San Juan Islands (7) will also reopen daily starting Monday for coonstripe and pink shrimp. There is a 200-foot maximum fishing-depth restriction in the island chain.

"The coonstripe and pink shrimp are a pretty quiet fishery as far as turnout goes, and Marine Area 7 [San Juan Islands] and parts of Area 8-1 around Oak Harbor does have the most activity," said Mark O'Toole, a state Fish and Wildlife shrimp biologist.

"Once you get south of there the quantity really drops off, but there are coonstripe pretty much everywhere. And down south, like Des Moines and Tacoma, more folks fishing off piers are the ones who catch them."

Source: SeattleTimes

the Fish Site Editor

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