Dungeness crab harvest delayed off Oregon, Washington coasts

Dungeness Crab
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SEATTLE (AP) — The key Dungeness crab harvest areas from Klipsan Beach, Washington, to Cape Falcon, Oregon, will not open until Feb. 1 because surveys found legal-sized males still lacked enough recoverable meat in their shells.

A policy group that includes the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife made the announcement late last week, The Seattle Times reported.

The late start to the 2022-2023 commercial season is a disappointment to crabbers. Last season, the harvest started Dec. 1, 2021.

The Dungeness crab harvest is Washington state’s most valuable commercial fishery. The seasons have generated on average $47.92 million to crabbers in the past decade.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Jan. 29, crabbers will have a 73-hour period to set their pots for the season beginning Feb. 1.

Tribal ocean crab fisheries are underway.

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