After long delay, Dungeness crab season opens

Dungeness crab season opens Jan. 15 on Oregon’s southern coast
By Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

NEWPORT – Commercial and sport Dungeness crabbing opens Jan. 15 from Gold Beach south, making all of the ocean off Oregon now open to crabbing. The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon normally opens Dec. 1, but was delayed this year because crab did not meet minimum pre-season quality testing. Fishery managers made the decision in December to delay the season from about Gold Beach (42°26’00” N. Lat.) south to the California border until Jan. 15.

The testing measures the percentage of meat in the crab, by weight. Fishery managers can delay the season to allow the crab to fill with meat and ensure a high-quality product to consumers.

Commercial crabbers are allowed to set their gear three days before the season opens, so ocean watchers on the southern coast will see the lights of crab boats as early as Thursday (Jan. 12).
Sport crabbing is open year-round in bays and estuaries.

About the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: ODFW’s mission is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The Department‘s policies are set by the Fish and Wildlife Commission. ODFW is headquartered in Salem and works through a regional management structure that allows for fish and wildlife management at the local level.

ODFW’s Marine Resources Program manages Oregon’s commercial and sport saltwater fisheries and has stewardship over our state’s marine environment.

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