Newport, OR – The opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season from Point Arena, Calif., to the Canadian border will be delayed at least until Dec. 15.
Commercial harvest of crab in Oregon bays and estuaries will close effective 12:01am Dec.1 and may reopen for the remainder of December if the ocean commercial fishery opens in December.
Recreational harvest of crab in the ocean off Oregon will also be delayed at least until Dec. 15. Recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon’s bays and estuaries will remain open.
The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season along the Oregon coast normally opens on Dec. 1, but can be delayed to ensure a high-quality product to consumers and avoid wastage of the resource. Crab quality testing in early November showed the majority of test areas coast wide did not meet minimum preseason test criteria. Fishery managers in Oregon, Washington and California met today and decided to delay the opening at least until Dec. 15 to allow crab quality to improve. A third round of crab quality testing will occur in late November or early December.
The delayed opening date will give time for the to fill with more meat. It will also provide the three states with more information for setting an appropriate commercial crab season opening schedule.