Commercial Dungeness Crab Season
Northern California commercial fishing boats will have to wait until the end of December to fish for Dungeness crab. The commercial Dungeness crab fishing season north of Sonoma County is now scheduled to open December 31.
The season had already been delayed from its originally scheduled December 1 opening to December 16 because tests were showing Dungeness crabs off the northern California coast had not sufficiently developed meat.The Dungeness crab season from Sonoma County south does not fall under the same restrictions. That season opened on November 15.
“Another round of pre-season quality tests revealed that crab from Mendocino County and north won’t be ready for harvest by the delayed opening day of December 16. However, crab are projected to meet the quality standard by December 31,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Environmental Scientist Christy Juhasz.
“Crabs ready for harvest should ideally contain at least 25 percent of their body weight as meat,” Juhasz added.
Oregon and Washington are also scheduled to open Dungeness crab seasons on December 31 on the basis of mutually conducted crab quality tests.
Regulations allow for delays off California’s northern coast if Dungeness crabs have soft shells or are of poor quality. The delays may not extend past January 15.