PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon’s commercial Dungeness crab season is delayed after pre-season testing found crabs are too low in meat yield, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced.
Commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon has been delayed until at least Dec. 16, officials said. Additionally, the commercial bay crab fishery closes at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 1 in conjunction with the delayed ocean commercial season, according to ODFW.
Officials normally aim to open Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season on Dec. 1, noting seasons may be delayed so consumers can get high-quality products and to ensure crabs are not wasted.
The next round of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will occur in the coming weeks and could determine if the season opens Dec. 16 or if it’s further delayed. ODFW tests crabs from Oregon’s six major crabbing ports with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the commercial Dungeness crab industry.
Oregon, Washington, and California coordinate Dungeness crab testing and commercial season opening dates, ODFW said, noting Washington and California are also delaying their seasons until at least Dec. 16.
In the meantime, ODFW will post weekly season opening updates online until a decision is made.
Similarly, the 2022-23 commercial Dungeness crabbing season was delayed and later opened in stages due to low meat yield and biotoxin levels above the safety threshold.
Meanwhile, the recreational ocean Dungeness crab season is scheduled to reopen on Dec. 1, as scheduled, ODFW said. Recreational crabbing in bays, estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers, and jetties is open across the Oregon coast.