Crabber/Towboat Lane Agreements: Charts, Data and Meetings


Previous meeting notes are on the Commercial Crabber/Towboat Lane Agreements: Archived Meeting Notes page.

2017 Towlanes

For instructions on how to load the tow lane maps into Google Earth, download the NOAA Charts Instructions Word file.

2015–16 Towlane Charts — Cape Flattery to San Francisco

Alert: Opening day change

The inside summer towline is open from April 15th to November 24th from Grays Harbor to Coos Bay.



In 2016, an updated set of “chartlets” was created to provide an enhanced visual alternative compared with the original charts listed just above. The following downloadable file comprises 24 charts listed in sequence from north to south, ranging from Cape Flattery in Washington to Pt. Reyes in California. Please read the disclaimer.

Data Files

For your convenience, Washington Sea Grant has made available electronic data files for commercial crabber and towboat towlane charts. Nobeltec data comes in a single text file; the other two formats entailed larger files, and so we compressed those into two different formats for downloading. Please note lane change information for Cape Alava above.

Now available

Data are now available on a USB thumb drive (free of charge). To obtain a USB thumb drive, please contact Kevin Decker, or 206.685.0864. Please be sure to download the data loading instructions (text file).

Please note:

  1. The following links provide access to data files; depending on application, they will be binary (i.e., .zip) or text (i.e., .txt). You must download the appropriate file (Maptech, Nobeltec or WindPlot), decompress if it is a .zip format, and import it into the appropriate program.
  2. Most contemporary operating systems come with file decompression applications, enabling the downloaded file to either open automatically or open upon double-clicking it. You can also obtain a version of the program required to decompress these files online (some are free; others are fee-based).
  3. Color key: blue = summer-only lanes; red = advisory only lanes.
Download Data Files
Software Text Zip Nob
Maptech Download
Rose Point ECS/
Coastal Explorer
Nobeltec Data Download*
Windplot Download
*Nobeltec loading instructions


No Guarantees: While Washington Sea Grant has made every attempt to verify that the information provided was accurate at the time the files were created, no express guarantees are made of the information herein. No contracts, implied or otherwise, are made through providing this information. For any questions about this information, please contact Kevin Decker, or 206.685.0864.

Use At Own Risk: Use this material at your own risk. Washington Sea Grant is not responsible for the consequences arising from the use of this information. The information is provided “AS IS”, and Washington Sea Grant makes no claims regarding its quality, usefulness or accuracy.

Proposed Towlane Changes — Oregon Coast

Proposed Towlane Changes — San Francisco

If you require the towlane chart data in printed form, please contact Kevin Decker, Marine Outreach Specialist, 206.685.0864, If you have trouble accessing the data, please contact Karen Morrill-McClure, Computer Systems Administrator, 206.685.0171,