Commercial Dungeness crab season further delayed

Commercial Dungeness crab season further delayed

NEWPORT, Ore. - Dungeness crab season will start a month late, wildlife officials said Monday.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that the opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon will be delayed through Dec. 30.

The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season along the Oregon coast normally opens on Dec. 1.

The harvest can be delayed to let the crabs grow, ODFW said.

Last month, fishery managers decided to delay the opening of the season for two weeks.

But coast-wide crab quality testing showed some test areas did not meet minimum preseason test criteria, ODFW said. Fishery managers met Monday and decided to further delay the opening through Dec. 30 to allow crab quality to improve.

In Oregon, crabbers will be allowed to begin setting their gear in the ocean at 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28 and start harvesting crab at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 31.

Recreational harvest of crab in the ocean and in Oregon’s bays will remain open, ODFW said.