Early testing finds crab filling out and hardening

Dungeness crab are filling out and hardening at a good pace for the traditional Dec. 1 commercial season opener.

LONG BEACH — Dungeness crab in the Long Beach area are putting on meat at a good rate and ought to be ready for harvest in early December — barring problems with marine toxins like those that delayed the season last year.

Testing completed Oct. 30 found a meat recovery rate of 23 percent off the Long Beach Peninsula and 22.9 percent off Westport. All areas must be at or above 23 percent before a season can commence under terms of the Tri-State protocol that governs crabbing in the waters of Washington, Oregon and California.

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