NEWPORT, Ore. – 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 normally scheduled to open every year on Dec. 1st. But it was delayed this year because crab on some parts of the coast were not meaty enough as determined by 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 open of crab season allowed the crab to fill out.
The latest coast-wide crab quality testing showed all areas offshore now meet minimum standards. Fishery managers from Oregon, Washington and California met this week and 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.