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For first time since 2014, Dungeness crab season opener starts on schedule

Brian Bull
In this 2017 photo, Ryan Rogers drops freshly delivered Dungness crabs into a kettle at the Fisherman's Market.

For the first time since 2014, the commercial Dungeness Crab season is opening as scheduled across the Oregon coast. This pleases seafood vendors.

In past years, high levels of domoic acid or insufficient meat fill in sampled crab were cited as reasons for delaying the opener, which is December 1st. But the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife – along with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission and commercial crabbers – say tested crustaceans from harvest areas were meaty and low in domoic acid this year.

Brian Bull
A sign at Fisherman's Market shows crabs on the menu.

“It’s a big relief for us,” says Ryan Rogers, owner of Fisherman’s Market in Eugene. He’s delighted that the season is opening on schedule for the first time in seven years.

“We have to travel great distances otherwise. I’ve gone from Bodega Bay in California to Blaine, Washington. Whatever distance we gotta go to make sure our customers have crab for the holidays.”

Ryan figures that he'll have the first catch of the prized crustacean at this business on December 2nd, "if all goes well."

Last season, more than 12 million pounds of Dungeness Crab were harvested, valued at over 60 million dollars.

Copyright @2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.