OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state officials say after two months of closures because of concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the state’s coastal waters are set to reopen for fishing on Tuesday, May 26.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said marine areas 1-3, including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, will open for bottomfish, shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters, and other species.
Crabbing on the Columbia River is also set to resume under normal regulations on Tuesday.
Halibut and razor clam harvest will remain closed in these areas for now due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.
Marine Area 4, Neah Bay, also remains closed to all recreational fishing and shellfish harvesting.
People still need to follow state guidelines by continuing to recreate in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping at least six feet apart.
Some areas in Puget Sound are also scheduled to open for recreational spot shrimp fishing on May 28, according to a WDFW news release. Other areas within central Puget Sound and Hood Canal are set to open June 11 under seasons announced by WDFW.
The process of finalizing dates this year has taken longer than usual due to COVID-19 related challenges and public health considerations, said Don Velasquez, a shellfish biologist for WDFW.