NEWPORT — The commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open on most of Oregon’s coast on Monday, Jan. 15.
Dungeness crab will be ready to be harvested from Cape Blanco to the Columbia River, and north into Washington. 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.
Last year’s season opening was also delayed but still brought in the record high ex-vessel value of $62.7 million (about 22 percent above the 10-year average).
For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at 800-448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures at www.oregon.gov/ODA /programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/Shellfish Closures.aspx.