Discussion in 'Northern California Fishing Reports' started by Hunter gatherer, Oct 31, 2015.
Has anyone heard the rumor that the Dungeness crab opener has been delayed?
I think, it's on. domonic acid levels very from crab to crab. May not be eating the butter this year. Possibly, clean crabs prior to cooking, yet, acid is still in the meat. Check the Coastside website for good info. I'm gonna soak a few pots.
No test results yet but..... In the news 20 hours ago was.....
With just a week to go before sport anglers can begin setting traps for Dungeness crab, a persistent bloom of toxic red algae off the Pacific Coast is threatening to disrupt the start of the catch and one of California’s most valuable fisheries.
State officials are awaiting test results they hope will come back by midweek before deciding if they will delay the Nov. 7 recreational start, as well as commercial seasons set to begin a week later, Fish and Wildlife personnel said.
Concern about a powerful neurotoxin called domoic acid produced by certain marine algae is driving the deliberations in California and in other regions, including Washington state, where much of the Dungeness crab fishery was closed through the summer because of high levels of domoic acid found in crustaceans there.
In California, absent current test results to evaluate, “everything kind of is up in the air right now,” state Fish and Wildlife Department spokeswoman Jordan Traverso said Friday.
Overall, algae blooms that peaked in late summer off the California coast are reported to be diminishing, according to Pete Kalvass, senior environmental scientist with state Fish and Wildlife.
But domoic acid levels of even 21 parts per million in crab meat are considered potentially dangerous, Traverso said.
“We don’t know what the next step is until we get results,” said Christy Juhasz, an environmental scientist with the agency.
Barring a delay, the recreational crabbing season will start Saturday, Nov. 7, and can be expected to draw thousands of eager fishermen to the North Coast for what’s become an increasingly popular undertaking, spawning traditions that bring family and friends together, filling campgrounds, boat ramps and bays.
Campsites for the crab opener generally are booked months in advance in anticipation of the first-day scrum.
“We’re busy in the summer, and it used to be just the summer that we had the most interest,” said Willy Vogler, co-owner of Lawson’s Landing on Tomales Bay. “Then, in the last decade or so, November has become like another summer, and it’s primarily due to the Dungeness crab season opening up. … Losing the crab would be bad.”
Commercial crabbers would begin pulling their pots on Sunday, Nov. 15, south of the Sonoma-Mendocino County line, and north of it beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1. After a weak salmon season, they’re raring to go.
“There’s a lot of guys who need to go,” said veteran fisherman Chris Lawson, past president of the Fishermen’s Marketing Association of Bodega Bay. “But the fishermen I’ve talked to — nobody is about to risk our markets by putting a consumer in jeopardy of getting sick from it.”
Scientists and wildlife officials for months have been monitoring a vast red tide up and down the West Coast, with accompanying domoic acid outbreaks affecting everything from California sea lions to seabirds, whales, fish and shellfish.
Though such algal blooms occur with some regularity, the size and density of the one this year has been considered especially alarming. It is believed linked to a band of unusually warm water stretching from Alaska to Mexico that has impacted coastal habitats in myriad ways.
Domoic acid is produced especially by an algae called pseudo-nitzchia that can accumulate in fish and their predators, concentrating up the food chain.
It can be harmful and even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.
Symptoms of mild poisoning include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness and confusion beginning 30 minutes to 24 hours after consuming toxic seafood.
Severe cases may cause difficulty breathing, seizure, coma and even death. Survivors in some cases may experience permanent short-term memory loss.
Cooking or freezing does not destroy domoic acid in shellfish.
Public health officials said bivalves, like clams, as well as anchovies and sardines are especially worrisome because the toxin collects in their digestive tracts, and those species typically are not gutted before consumption.
State officials currently are testing Dungeness crab caught out of eight California ports, including Crescent City, Trinidad, Eureka, Fort Bragg, Bodega Bay, San Francisco/Half Moon Bay, Monterey and Morro Bay.
We'll see....... I just pulled my 13 pots out and am prepping them now.
Although this may be a delay to the season opener, thank goodness they are watching out for our health. I guess the government isnt always wrong like I thought.
We were commercial crabber last year, sport this year......I will not eat crab, not worth the risk.
Well I guess we will have to keep our ears open and hope that they find the levels have dropped and the crab is safe to eat.
CDPH posted advisory today not to eat. If you shouldn't eat them why catch them?
They are having an emergency meeting up in Sacramento. Test results doesn't look good. Looks like crabbing will be delayed until they can determine when it would be safe to consume crab. DAMN IT! I wanted to eat some crab.
I am hearing it will be outright cancelled
Friend said he received a DFW email stating they're going to announce closure tomorrow.
I noticed that the concerns are all limited to crab, but I don't understand why lobster should be any safer?
From point conception north is where the dungy and rockcrab are affected.
Are there lobster north of pint conception? If so, are they affected?
To my knowledge there is not Lobster north of Point Conception. I would imagine that abalone and clams would also be affected. Sonoma county Abalone took a big hit two years ago, they lost 30% or more.
I believe mussels and clams are closed during certain months every season because they have domoic acid at higher levels.
Per this mornings emergency df&w meeting in sac the season is delayed upto 180 days or until test results conclude all good on the demoic levels. Thus it is and will remain closed for both dungeness and rock crab from conception to OR boarder. Sucks but better than eating toxic crab ...
This may sound a little odd, but would catch and release be allowed? I already booked an annual trip to SF and always do some crabbing from the shore or piers and it just wouldn't be complete without some form of it. Any info would help, I wouldn't want to risk getting a fine or anything and no way would I risk eating one given the info of how high the concentrations are.
I think you'd be ok, just tell em your do'n " catch and release crabbing ". Don't think they'll be able stop laughing, ( I still am ), long enough to write you a ticket
Would be up to the wardens discretion. You are not really supposed to be targeting closed fisheries unless catch and release is specific in the regs.
Got it, thanks for the input!
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