Officials with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday Oregon’s commercial Dungeness Crab season will open January 15th.
The state’s most valuable fishery was delayed because the crustaceans didn’t have enough meat in their shells. Hugh Link with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission says he’s pleased to see a date set for the season to begin. But, the traditional start date is December. “Well, obviously we’re all disappointed." Link says, "We like to hit those Christmas markets and our consumers love to have our crab at Christmas as well and unfortunately that didn’t happen this year.”
Link says this is the first time the season has been delayed this late for the entire U.S. west coast.
Despite a delay to the season last year in Oregon, more than 20 million crab were harvested, bringing fisherman more than 62 million dollars. Link says the fishery’s value to the state is more than 100 million dollars.