Lean crabs delay start to Oregon Dungeness season

Oregon Coast

The commercial Dungeness crabbing season won't start until at least Dec. 16

Crab Fishery Toxin_230068

FILE – Dungeness crab in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon officials have pushed back the start of the commercial Dungeness crab season again this year.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the season won’t start until at least Dec. 16 because crabs along the Oregon Coast haven’t developed enough meat.

The target date for the start of crabbing season is Dec. 1 but has been delayed in recent years. Waiting longer to open the crabbing season gives the crustaceans more time to pack on body mass.

Despite last year’s delayed start, Oregon saw record Dungeness crab numbers with nearly 19 million pounds of crab landed.

Officials said crabs will be tested again in late November or early December to decide whether the delay needs to be extended even further or if different zones can open ahead of others.

Recreational crabbing off the Oregon Coast will open as scheduled on Dec. 1. Crabbing in bays, estuaries and on beaches, docks, piers and jetties is currently open.

Call the Shellfish Hotline at 800.448.2474 or visit ODA’s Recreational Shellfish page for more information.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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