Tag Archives: Dungeness crab

Dungeness crab fishing season delayed due to whale and sea turtle entanglement risk

Charlton Bonham, director of the Fish and Wildlife department, issued a decision to postpone the start date for California Dungeness crab fishermen south of the Mendocino/Sonoma County line for one week — from Nov. 15 to Nov. 22. The decision was based on data indicating the prevalence of whales in the area. Bonham’s decision to minimize entanglement risk follows a court-approved agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, a Phoenix-based environmental nonprofit that in 2017 sued the wildlife agency,,, >click to read< 16:52

Morro Bay: Local fishermen, businesses impacted by delay of Dungeness crab fishing season

It’s a season that has already been cut by two-and-a-half months and for some fishermen, it’s becoming harder to keep their businesses afloat. “Could you go home and take a week off with no pay? Or two weeks, or three months like we’re forced to? Not very many people can,” said Lori French. French and her husband own a fishing boat in Morro Bay. Their main catch is Dungeness crab. >click to read< 07:51

Dungeness commercial crab season likely to be delayed over risks to whales

California’s state fish and wildlife chief is poised to delay this fall’s commercial Dungeness crab season for eight days under a legal settlement,,,  Bodega Bay fisherman Dick Ogg said he appreciated the unenviable spot Bonham is in and the pressure he is under to avoid taking chances with an endangered species while positioned directly in the lens of a microscope. “You know, he tried to make the best possible decision he could make and still give the fishermen the opportunity to take advantage of the Thanksgiving market,” Ogg said. “It was tough.” >click to read<  14:50

Dungeness crab ‘meating up’ at slowest rate in years; also slow to harden

Dungeness crab in Long Beach Peninsula waters have the lowest percentage of meat in at least five years of late-October testing. More than 85% of local crab also are too soft to harvest. This is bad news for the traditional Dec. 1 opening date, which has often proved illusory in the past two decades.,, All areas must be at least 23% before a commercial crabbing season can commence under terms of the Tri-State protocol that governs crabbing in the waters of Washington, Oregon and California. In another potential problem for a timely season start, Washington coast crab are especially slow to harden this autumn. >click to read< 11:47

Opinion: Reducing whale entanglements

Oregon’s commercial crabbing industry prides itself on sustainability. Though Dungeness crab has been harvested commercially since the late 1800s, this population is considered to be stable to increasing along the West Coast—thanks to commercial and recreational regulations that protect the breeding population and ensure the state’s official crustacean will be conserved for future generations. Now, the fishing industry is facing a new environmental challenge—whale entanglements in crabbing gear. by Dr. Caren Braby, >click to read< 11:40

California coasts recovering, but more marine heatwaves like ‘The Blob’ expected

The effects of the marine heatwave off the California coast from 2014 to 2016, better known as The Blob, that led to a decrease in Chinook salmon and virtually shut down the Dungeness crab industry are finally starting to wear off.,,, “It wasn’t about (a lack of) abundance,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “It was about destabilized ecosystems.” >click to read< 10:50

Crab fishermen cashing in during windfall harvest in Northern B.C.

Crab fishermen in Northern British Columbia are pinching themselves to make sure they aren’t dreaming this season. Dungeness crab in the Hecate Strait, a shallow body of water between Haida Gwaii and the mainland, are bountiful this year and ship crews are crabbing around the clock to cash in. For many working on the water, it is the most rewarding harvest in recent memory. Paul Edwards, captain of the Sea Harvest, has been fishing for Dungeness since the 1990s and says it is the best haul he has seen in 25 years. Awesome!!! >click to read< 19:47

Dungeness fleet back off Oregon Coast

Crabbing restrictions were lifted Friday along the South Coast after biotoxin levels in Dungeness were found to be safe again, reinviting the region’s commercial fleet to take full advantage of what is now the second-best Oregon crabbing season on record. Oregon Department of Agriculture tests Friday showed domoic acid levels in Dungeness were back into the safe margins for the second consecutive week, allowing sport crabbers back to the ocean and bays that have been off-limits since May 10. >click to read<19:53

2018 Dungeness crab fisheries in Southeast Alaska best in years

The commercial fishery for Dungeness crab in Southeast Alaska was cut short in 2017 because harvests were low. 2018, however, has proven to be one of the best years in the last decade. It takes a while to compile all the data from Southeast’s Dungeness crab fishery. The fall fishery closed November 30 for the most part but a few areas remain open and data is still coming in.But the major areas were fished for two months and preliminary results are pretty positive. >click to read<21:33

Crab season off to a stormy start

Local commercial Dungeness crab fishermen overcame challenging weather conditions over the weekend in delivering their first catch of the season. Washington and Oregon crabbers set gear during the three-day “soak” period over the New Year’s holiday under blue skies, but then faced stormy weather leading up to the official opening of the fishery on Friday. “It wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies,” said Buck & Ann captain Dennis Rice, who delivered a vessel “plugged” with estimated 35,000 pounds of Dungeness crab Monday, Dec. 7 at Ilwaco Landing. >click to read<15:54

Crab fishing season delayed by weather, small crabs

Smaller crabs and bad weather are delaying the start of crabbing for Washington and Oregon,,,Fishermen could start setting up their Dungeness crab gear Jan. 1 — a month later than usual — because crab were under the legal size and molted late. That means the loss of the lucrative Christmas market. And even then they couldn’t start pulling traps on Friday, when stormy weekend weather kept some crabbers from harvesting their catch. Steve Manewal, manager of the South Bend Products processing plant in Chinook, didn’t start receiving crab shipments until Saturday afternoon. In the southern third of Oregon Coast and parts of California, the season remains delayed because crabs haven’t met weight requirements yet,,, >click to read<22:54

CDFW – Northern Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Further Delayed in Ocean Waters North of Patrick’s Point, Humboldt County due to Public Health Hazard >click to read<

Dungeness crab season to officially open in January for parts of the Oregon coast

After a month-long delay, the Dungeness crab season is set to open at the beginning of January in Oregon, but industry experts say these appear to be a trend and they hurt coastal communities. Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will open the crabbing season for the central and northern coast. Fishermen can set their pots on Jan. 1 and begin pulling them on Jan. 4. It was supposed to open on Dec. 1. Officials delayed the season because there was not enough meat in the crabs. Rough weather also delayed testing. If all goes according to plan, you may be able to find crab in the markets by about Jan. 10, according to sellers. >click to read<13:39

Ilwaco: Ocean conditions again interfere with crab sampling

On Thursday turbulent seas again got in the way of collecting Dungeness crab to see if they have at least 23 percent meat in the waters south of Klipsan Beach, a requirement before the region’s commercial crabbers can start the 2018-19 season. The crab season traditionally starts Dec. 1, but is often delayed. Last season, harvests didn’t begin until Jan. 15, 2018. This season, early testing found crab slightly under 23 percent off the Long Beach Peninsula and substantially low in meat off southern Oregon. Delays have mounted as rough conditions keep a vessel contracted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from dumping pots — first on Dec. 22 and then on Dec. 26.>click to read<11:59

BREAKING: More crab season complications – >click to read< 16:44

Crab fishermen and environmentalists square off over whale entanglements

The issue has pitted two local interest groups against each other: Those who depend on the $68 million California Dungeness crab fishery for their livelihood, and those who advocate shutting down areas to crabbing to protect humpback whales and other endangered species. Caught in between are everyday shoppers who love having Dungeness crab on their tables, but probably wouldn’t want marine mammals hurt in the process. “I’m frankly very scared of what the upcoming season could mean for whales,” said Kristen Monsell, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, an Oakland environmental group that sued the state over the issue last year. The case is due to go before a judge in February. >click to read<13:23

New regulations for commercial Dungeness crab fishery now in effect

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife enacted new regulations to reduce the risk of marine life entanglements in commercial Dungeness crab fishing gear. These regulations became effective on Oct. 30, 2018, and will be in place for the upcoming 2018-19 commercial Dungeness crab season. The new regulations allow no more than two trailer buoys to be used at the surface and establish a maximum distance between the front end of the main buoy to the tail end of the last trailer buoy depending on the depth that a trap is deployed. >click to read<11:34

Fishermen head out on opening day of 2018 commercial Dungeness crab season

After several frustrating years of on-again-off-again crab catching operations along the California coast, fisherman were optimistic about hauling in a good catch as the 2018 commercial Dungeness crab season opened Thursday. It was three years ago that the highly anticipated season had to be delayed until March after state fishery officials detected toxic levels of domoic acid in crabs. In addition, fishermen have had to contend with scattered delays and lousy weather. >click to read<

Counting down to Thanksgiving crab? It won’t be long now

This year, state regulators are opening the main fishery on time but only as far north as Bodega Head while they await a second round of test results from sample crabs taken off the mouth of the Russian River, where a single shellfish collected late last month had elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring neurotoxin. The six-crab sample taken a week later tested well within federal limits for the algae-related substance. A second consecutive round of tests is needed before the area can be declared clean and the rest of the Sonoma Coast opened to commercial crabbing. >click to read<13:01

California Dungeness crab season faces delays in parts of state

The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season has been delayed until at least Dec. 1 in the waters north of Bodega Head State Marine Reserve to the Sonoma/Mendocino county line because of elevated levels of domoic acid, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today. The commercial fishery south of this area will open as scheduled Thursday, however. >click to read<10:51

Southeast dive fisheries, crab seasons start in October

The season for geoduck clam diving starts Oct. 1. The first opening could be Oct. 3 or 4, depending on testing for the toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The region’s guideline harvest level is 702,100 pounds. The large clams are plucked from the ocean floor and shipped whole and live to overseas markets, if the clams don’t test too high for PSP or inorganic arsenic. There are a couple of changes for that fishery this year. Past openings have been only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., one day a week. The Board of Fisheries last winter approved a 1,000-pound weekly harvest limit. >click to read<12:48

Crabbers to get federal disaster relief

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has proposed a spending plan for federal Dungeness Crab disaster relief funding after taking input from fishermen, processors and charter boat operators. The state’s 2015 to 2016 commercial Dungeness and rock crab seasons were declared as fisheries disasters after being drastically curtailed due to algae blooms and the domoic acid toxin they produced. Approval of $28.8 million in federal relief funding was gained last June, with most of it covering Dungeness losses. Based on guidelines from the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and feedback from industry stakeholders, CDFW proposes that 89 percent of the relief funding be spent on “direct payments” to commercial fishermen, buyer/processors and sport charter boat operations. >click to read<19:31

‘There Aren’t A Lot Of Other Options’: Port Orford’s Season Of Crab And Crisis

Oregon’s 2018 toxic algae troubles didn’t begin with the summer bloom tainting Salem’s water supply. The opening salvo actually came from the wintry Pacific, where high levels of domoic acid — a neurotoxin byproduct of marine algae blooms — disrupted seafood production along Oregon’s South Coast. For Port Orford in particular, where the fishing industry sustains about one-third of the local economy, this meant a season of loss instead of bounty. By the numbers, Port Orford really can’t afford more economic distress. >click to read<10:58

Southeast Dungeness crab fishermen will have full season in 2018

Southeast Alaska’s Dungeness crab fishery had a strong first week and will not have a shortened season like last year. The summer season for most of the region started June 15. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced in late June that crabbers would have a full two-month summer season. Fishermen caught more than 871,000 lbs. during the first week. The agency uses the first week’s catch to estimate how many crab will be harvested during the season. Tessa Bergmann with Fish and Game in Petersburg said this year’s estimate is the third highest on record. “Our harvest estimate for the 2018 season is just over 3.7 million lbs.,” Bergmann said. That is well above the 2.25 million lb. estimate required for a full season in Southeast Alaska. It will mean crabbers can keep fishing through Aug. 15. >click to read<15:08

North Coast crabbers haul in above average catch in 2017-18 season worth $42 million

The North Coast had a significantly improved Dungeness crab season this year, hauling in 14.3 million of the 19.4 million pounds of Dungeness crab landed in California so far this season, according to preliminary state data provided to the Times-Standard on Tuesday. While there were a few obstacles, Trinidad crab fisherman Mike McBrayer said Tuesday that he had a much improved season thanks to a great crew and good weather that permitted him to get out on the water more days. “And there were crabs, and that’s always a good thing,” McBrayer said.>click to read<15:47

Crescent City’s annual crab haul larger than average

Despite a late start to the season, commercial fishermen brought slightly more Dungeness crab to the Crescent City Harbor than in previous years, according to numbers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. While this makes for increased revenue at the harbor, which collects 2 cents for every pound brought to its docks, Rick Shepherd, president of the Del Norte Fisherman’s Marketing Association, said commercial crabbers were paid less than last year.  “I think one of the problems that I witnessed was there was a larger number of boats that participated here and so I think the actual amount of crab each boat caught was less,” he said. >click to read<09:39

Local fisherman takes advantage of being able to sell crab on Kodiak docks

Fresh seafood seems like it’d be an easy thing to get in a fishing town like Kodiak. But it wasn’t until recently that it was legal for fishermen to sell what they’ve caught right off their boats on local docks.,, Brian Blondin is holding a Dungeness crab and pinching its shell to see if its ready to eat. “You always gotta feel make sure the shells are hard.”  He’s one of the first people to take advantage of the City of Kodiak allowing fisherman to sell what they’ve caught on its docks, which has only been legal since late last year. >click to read<10:54

Slow crawl for crab: Seasonal delays stifle coastal economy

Price strikes, delays and poor weather have plagued the 2017-18 Dungeness crab season from the start. Roughly four weeks into the season, landings for the non-tribal coastal crab fishery in Washington were 5,574,792 pounds, only about 60 percent of the total catch during the first weeks of 2016-17 season. “It’s clear this season we are behind,” Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said upon seeing the first official numbers of the season on Friday, Feb 16. >click to read<12:35

California crabbers concede 25 cents

Local commercial Dungeness crab fishermen return to their trade today but will receive 25 cents per pound less for their catch than when they started the season earlier this month.  Following a meeting on Monday, crabbers in Brookings, Crescent City, Trinidad, Eureka and Fort Bragg agreed to resume fishing on Tuesday, said Rick Shepherd, president of the Del Norte Fisherman’s Marketing Association. Seafood buyers are now paying fishermen $2.50 per pound, Shepherd said.  “We’re trying to hold that $2.75, but we don’t know how long we’d have to sit to do it,” he said. “There’s not much else we can do.” >click to read<11:07 

Dangerous swells will complicate harvest this week as Crabbers go to sea

An informal Dungeness crab price strike ended this week on the Washington and Oregon coast after Newport-based crabbers decided to accept $2.75 a pound from Trident Seafoods. Columbia River-based crabbers began soaking pots at 9 a.m. Monday. Crabbers didn’t reach a formal agreement with industry giant Pacific Seafoods after days of stalemated talks in which fishermen sought a starting price of $3 a pound for wholesale deliveries to processors. Last year’s price was $2.89 a pound. >click here to read< 11:53

Crabbers set to snap – Frustrations mount as price deadlock and towering swells delay season

Frustrations grew Tuesday as crabbers and processors continued drawn-out negotiations over 2018’s opening price for Dungeness crab. All was silent in the Ilwaco channel and Port of Chinook in recent days when boats ordinarily would have been noisily traveling back and forth to crabbing grounds. No lights bobbed on the ocean off the Long Beach Peninsula.  Commercial crab harvesting was set to open Monday south of the Klipsan Beach line, but price negotiations and ocean conditions are keeping boats in port. >click here to read<15:08

Board votes down change in Southeast Dungeness crab season

Crabber Max Worhatch proposed the change and successfully got the board to add the proposal to the meeting after missing the deadline for regulation changes.“I would like to seriously consider this,” Worhatch told the board. “I put a proposal in, just like this three years ago, didn’t get anywhere. The department felt like they had to have something to manage the fishery when it got to the low end. But in my experience and just from what I’ve seen in Oregon, California and Washington, size sex and season for Dungeness crab works and it works extremely well. It’s kindof an autopilot thing, doesn’t take a lot of work.” >click here to read< 10:22