Commercial Dungeness crab season opens Monday

<p>Dungeness crab are shown for sale in a tank at the Alioto-Lazio Fish Market at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco o 2012. The Dungeness crab season on the Oregon Coast will open Monday.</p>

NEWPORT — Fresh Dungeness crab is soon to be back on the menu for holiday feasts after fishery managers in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife determined the fishery was ready to open Monday on the Oregon Coast.

The commercial Dungeness crab season on the Oregon Coast is scheduled to open Dec. 1 each year, but it was delayed this year because crab on some parts of the coast did not measure up during preseason testing. The testing measures the percentage of meat in the crab, by weight, and is used to ensure a high-quality product for consumers.

Coastwide crab quality testing showed all areas now meet minimum test criteria. Fishery managers from Oregon, Washington and California met and mutually decided to open commercial crabbing from the Oregon-California border to Klipsan Beach, Wash., on Monday.

Commercial crabbers are allowed to set their gear three days before the season opens, so ocean watchers will see the lights of crab boats off most of the coast as early as Friday.

Recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in the ocean off Oregon opened as scheduled Dec. 1. The recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon’s bays and estuaries is open year-round.

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