Fresh Dungeness crab is back on the menu for holiday feasts after fishery managers determined the fishery was ready to open Dec. 16 on the Oregon coast.

The commercial Dungeness crab season on the Oregon coast is scheduled to open Dec. 1 each year, but was delayed this year because crab on some parts of the coast did not measure up during pre-season testing. The testing measures the percentage of meat in the crab, by weight, and is used to ensure a high-quality product for consumers. Delaying the season allowed the crab to fill with meat.

Coast-wide crab quality testing showed all areas now meet minimum test criteria. Fishery managers from Oregon, Washington and California met today and mutually decided to open commercial crabbing from the Oregon-California border to Klipsan Beach, Wash., on Dec. 16.

Commercial crabbers are allowed to set their gear three days before the season opens, so ocean watchers will see the lights of crab boats off most of the coast as early as Dec. 13.

Recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in the ocean off Oregon opened as scheduled on Dec. 1. The recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon’s bays and estuaries is open year round.

Logo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildife

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