On Wednesday December 6, 2017 the Coastal Dungeness Crab Tri-State policy representatives from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) agreed to further delay the opening of the 2017-18 Coastal Dungeness crab fishery from Point Area, California north to the US/Canada border until at least December 31, 2017. This decision was based on crab condition tests conducted by WDFW, ODFW and CDFW which shows that some test areas in Oregon and California do not currently meet the minimum meat recovery criteria.
The Tri-State Dungeness Crab Pre-Season Testing Protocols specify that if any area does not meet the minimum meat recovery criteria (23% north of Cascade Head and 25% south of Cascade Head) a season delay is required and additional testing is necessary before a season opening date can be confirmed. Crab tested from Washington test areas do meet the criteria, however Tri-State protocols, established to provide for an orderly season opening, call for a delay in areas that are adjacent to areas with low meat recovery.
A third round of testing in areas not yet meeting the minimum will be scheduled with a target completion date of December 22. WDFW will provide additional information regarding the season opening as soon as possible following the completion of the upcoming tests and additional Tri-State discussions.