The commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open on most of the Oregon Coast on Jan. 15, according to the Oregon Agriculture Department.
Oregon Department of Agriculture
Dungeness crab will be ready to be harvested from Cape Blanco to the Columbia River, and north into Washington.
The season is a critical part of the Oregon Coast economy and helps support businesses in Lincoln City, Astoria, Newport and other coastal cities.
The Oregon Agricultural Department had earlier delayed the opening because testing showed the crab meat yield was too low in some areas of the coast.
While the commercial season can open as early as Dec. 1, the opening can be delayed to ensure a high quality product for consumers by allowing crabs more time to fill with meat.
Prior to the opener, crab vessels may set gear from Jan. 12 onwards, using the “pre-soak” period of time to set gear in anticipation of the first pull of ocean crab pots on Jan. 15.
The recreational crab fishery in Oregon is already open in this same region (Cape Blanco north to the Columbia River). The area south of Cape Blanco will remain closed to both recreational and commercial crabbing due to persisting domoic acid in the region. Continued testing will determine when this closed area can reopen.
All Oregon crab product on the market is safe to eat.
Commercial Dungeness crab is Oregon’s most valuable fishery. Last year’s season opening was also delayed but still brought in the record high ex-vessel value of $62.7 million, with 20.4 million pounds landed, about 22 percent above the 10-year average.
For more information about Oregon’s shellfish marine biotoxin monitoring, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448‐2474, or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at, http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx.