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Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Delayed Again on Washington Coast, Oregon Coast

Published 12/22/22 at 8:35 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Delayed Again on Washington Coast, Oregon Coast

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(Newport, Oregon) – While the regularly scheduled Dungeness crab season was supposed to start a month ago, it looks like professional crabbers in Washington and Oregon will have to wait until at least January 15, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). (Photo copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

It's been round three of testing along the Oregon coast and Washington coast, and they're still finding crab meat is still too low, issues that are continuing from the California border through to the edges of Canadian waters. There are also many areas where domoic acid levels are too high, still being found in some crab viscera (the guts).

The decision was finalized today by officials from Oregon, Washington and California. On December 22, coastal Dungeness crab Tri-State policy representatives from ODFW, WDFW and two agencies and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) agreed to delay the opening of the season through to January. However, a portion of the California coastline will open on December 31.

There will be restrictions on boats that venture down there from other areas, however.

“Any vessel that begins fishing in the area between Point Arena, CA, and the California/Oregon Border before the area north of the Oregon/California border opens will be delayed 30 days before being allowed to fish in the area between the Oregon/California border and Klipsan Beach, WA.” WDFW said.

National Weather Service satellite showing crabbing vessels off Oregon coast

ODFW said more testing of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will take place over the next few weeks. This will help determine if the Oregon coast and / or Washington coast can open on January 15 or not.

“Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted,” ODFW said. “Providing a quality product to consumers is a high priority for the fishing industry and ODFW.”

ODFW said tests crabs out of Oregon’s six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), and the commercial Dungeness crab industry. Tri-state crab quality testing protocol is available online.

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