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Commercial Dungeness Crab Season in Northern California Delayed Once More

Published on: December 26, 2012

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Commercial Dungeness crab fishing season north of Sonoma County was delayed for a third time but will finally open on Jan.15, 2013, just in time for the annual Mendocino Crab, Wine & Beer Days Festival. New test results from the fishing grounds show that crab from Mendocino County and north have still not developed enough meat for harvest.  Several rounds 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, 2012, according to an Environmental Scientist with Department of Fish and Game. The season was originally set to open on Dec. 1, but quality tests have shown the crabs have less than 25% of their body weight as meat. At least 25% 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 along the 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 by that date.

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