Fresh Oregon crab is back on the menu – the commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open on most of Oregon’s coast as of Dec. 16, 2020. Dungeness crab will be ready to be harvested just in time for the holidays from Cape Falcon south to the California border. Prior to the opener, crab vessels will set gear from Dec. 13 onwards, using the “pre-soak” period of time to set gear in anticipation of the first pull of ocean crab pots on Dec. 16. The recreational crab fishery is already open along the entire Oregon coast.
The area north of Cape Falcon will remain closed to commercial crabbing to coordinate an orderly start with the Washington coastal Dungeness crab fishery. Results from recent domoic acid testing of crab viscera (guts) conducted by the state of Washington were elevated, and Washington delayed their coastal fishery until further testing is conducted. All crab tested from all Oregon’s crab harvest areas have been well below alert levels and all Oregon crab product on the market is safe to eat.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) will continue to regularly test crab and shellfish to ensure levels in all areas remain below alert levels. For more information about Oregon’s shellfish marine biotoxin monitoring, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448‐2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.