Commercial crab fishery delayed on Washington’s south coast

dungenesscrabState shellfish managers have delayed the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery on a portion of Washington’s southern coast to allow more time for tests to ensure that crabs are free of marine toxins. The commercial fishery from the Columbia River north to Klipsan Beach on the Long Beach Peninsula was scheduled to open Dec. 1. This delay also includes the Willapa Bay commercial fishery. The delay doesn’t affect fishing in the Westport area, which was already expected to open later in December. The timing of that opening is tied to the catch of tribal crab fishermen as fish managers work to divide the catch based on treaty rights. Tribal crab fishing in the Westport area is already under way. State officials said there is currently no issue with toxins in crab along the Washington coast, but the opening is being delayed in order to coincide with Oregon’s schedule. Not to do so would mean fishermen would concentrate from Long Beach to the Oregon border and put too much fishing pressure on the area, fish managers said. Read the story here 11:23