NEWPORT, Ore – The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season opener is delayed until at least Dec. 16 for the entire Oregon coast. Pre-season testing shows crabs are too low in meat yield in some areas. Elevated domoic acid also was detected in some crab viscera (guts).
Targeted to open Dec. 1, Oregon’s ocean commercial Dungeness crab season can be delayed so consumers get a high-quality product and crabs are not wasted.
The next round of crab meat yield and biotoxin testing will occur in the coming weeks. Results help determine if the season opens Dec. 16 or is further delayed or split into areas with different opening dates.
ODFW tests crabs out of Oregon’s six major crabbing ports in partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), and the commercial Dungeness crab industry.
Weekly season opening updates are posted online until the decision to open the season is made.
Oregon, California and Washington coordinate Dungeness crab quality testing and the commercial season opening dates. California and Washington are delaying their commercial seasons until at least Dec. 16. A history of Oregon’s commercial crab landings is available online.
Oregon commercial Dungeness crab bay and estuary fishery:
Due to elevated levels of domoic acid detected in crab viscera samples, ODA designated a biotoxin management zone (BMZ) from eight miles north of Winchester Bay (43°47’ N) to the California border (42° 00’). All commercial crab harvested from bays in this BMZ must be eviscerated.
Visit the ODA Commercial Crab Biotoxin webpage for more information.
Recreational crabbing closed in bays and estuaries on Oregon’s southern coast
November 18, 2022
NEWPORT, Ore – The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and ODFW closed recreational bay and estuary crabbing from eight miles north of Winchester Bay (43 degrees 47′ at Tahkenitch Creek) to the California border. Recent test results show domoic acid, a marine toxin, is above the human health closure limit.
Recreational bay and estuary crabbing remains open from eight miles north of Winchester Bay to the Washington border. Recreational ocean crabbing is closed until Nov. 30 per permanent regulations. Reopening ocean crabbing Dec. 1 may be delayed pending toxin test results.
Recreational bay clam and mussel harvesting also remain open along the entire Oregon coast. However, razor clamming is still closed coastwide.
ODA tests for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.
Domoic acid is produced by algae and originates in the ocean.
It is recommended that recreational crab harvesters always eviscerate crab before cooking. This includes removing and discarding the viscera, internal organs, and gills.
For more information, call ODA’s shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800)448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA shellfish biotoxin closures webpage.
Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules and limits.