Area north of Cape Falcon opens Feb.1 to commercial Dungeness crab fishing
NEWPORT, Ore – Commercial Dungeness crab fishing from Cape Falcon to Klipsan Beach, Washington begins Feb. 1. A fourth round of pre-season testing shows male crabs in this area were not quite ready for a January opening. The additional time will allow crab to continue to fill with meat before harvest.
Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed or partially opened so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted.
This year’s season was partially opened (Cape Foulweather to the California border) Dec. 16 after a delay due to low meat yield in areas north of Cape Foulweather. Once meat yield met criteria, commercial crabbing began Dec. 31 from Cape Foulweather to Cape Falcon.
Ocean conditions that affect molt timing, food availability and quality, and the number of crabs competing for food could all affect meat yield in different coastal areas.
ODFW tests crabs out of Oregon’s six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the commercial Dungeness crab industry.
Weekly season opening updates are posted online until the decision to fully open the season is made.
Oregon, California and Washington coordinate Dungeness crab quality testing and the commercial season opening dates. A history of Oregon’s commercial crab landings is available online.
Here is video by Pioneer videographer Don Backman of the Garibaldi crab fleet transiting the Tillamook Bay bar prior to the December 31st opening to set crab pots.