After a month-long delay to the 2018/2019 season, fishermen across the West Coast will finally be able to unleash their crab pots and rev up production.
The statement came from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife after the third round of testing in Washington for fill rates of Dungeness Crab surpassed the minimum requirement.
While the minimum meat recovery rate (fill rate) is set around 25%, the final holdout in the Long Beach area of Washington reached 27.9% allowing for the Tri-State regions to open the season under the Tri-State Protocol.
On January 1st, a 73 hour presoak period begins where crabbers can begin setting their pots in the area north of Cape Arago, Oregon. Come January 4, fishermen can begin hauling in their pots to kickstart the season.
However, areas south of Cape Arago to Gold Beach are still closed due to fill rates and the Oregon/California border is still shut because of domoic acid detected in the crabs around that area.
In regards to whether those areas south of Cape Arago will open the statement said,
“We will continue consult with industry and consider management measures to open the remaining areas in Oregon simultaneously. This will include consideration of opening areas affected by domoic acid under an evisceration order.”