Commercial Dungeness Crab Season in Northern California Delayed Once More

Media contacts:
Christy Juhasz, DFG Environmental Scientist, (707) 576-2887
Carrie Wilson, DFG Environmental Scientist, (831) 649-7191

Commercial Dungeness crab fishing season north of Sonoma County will be delayed for a third time, but will finally open on Jan. 15. New test results from the fishing grounds show that crab from Mendocino County and north have still not developed enough meat for harvest.

“Another round of pre-season quality tests revealed that crab from the Trinidad area are not yet mature and won’t be ready for harvest by the delayed opening date of Dec. 31,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Environmental Scientist Christy Juhasz. “However, these crab are projected to meet the quality standard by Jan. 15 and so the season will open then.”

The season was originally set to open on Dec. 1, but quality tests have shown the crabs have less than 25 percent of their body weight as meat. At least 25 percent is ideal for harvest.

The Dungeness crab season from Sonoma County south does not fall under the same restrictions. That season opened on Nov. 15. Regulations allow for delays off California’s northern coast if Dungeness crabs have soft shells or are of poor quality. The delays may not extend past Jan. 15, so the season will definitely open no later than that date.