Derelict Fishing Gear Removal

Derelict Fishing Gear Removal

Decades of a thriving commercial and recreational fishery in Puget Sound has left tons of old fishing gear behind. Thousands of old crab pots litter the seafloor and hundreds of nets were caught in rocky outcroppings and draped along waterways. Gillnets and crab pots (commercial and sport) continue to fish long after they become lost. The result is wasted seafood and needless damage to marine resources and habitat.

Originating with the Clallam MRC, derelict fishing gear removal has been a successful project that is now overseen by the Northwest Straits Foundation and is conducted at a regional scale and shared internationally. More information about the ongoing program can be found at

2017 Recreational Crabbing Outreach

Crabbers can be on the lookout for volunteers with the Clallam County Marine Resources Committees at your local boat launches during the summer of crabbing season 2017. They will be providing educational materials, gauges for measuring your catch, and are available to discuss how to correctly set your crab pot so you can catch more crab. Crabbers may also find these educational materials while purchasing crab licenses and gear at local retailers. Our goal is zero lost crab pots in Puget Sound and for everyone to have a successful day on the water.

In 2016 the Northwest Strait Foundations supported by a large advisory committee developed a prevention plan for lost crab pots in Puget Sound.

Download the prevention plan

Map showing no crabbing zones in Sequim Bay. Map made by intern Shannon Weaver.
Sequim resident, Robert Poff gets ready to #CatchMoreCrab
Derelict Fishing Gear Removal