It's Crabbin' Time...For At Least Part Of The Oregon Coast

Dec 18, 2016

After a roughly two-week delay, Oregon’s commercial Dungeness crab season is underway (Dec. 18) along the south coast.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the outlook is positive.  

Loaded crab boat.
Credit Hugh Link / Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission


The season would have started December 1st, but after some sample catches showed high levels of domoic acid – a toxin attributable to warm water and algae blooms – state officials postponed the opener.

Hugh Link is Executive Director for the Oregon Dungeness Crab Bommission.  He says crabs harvested south of Cape Blanco have been deemed safe by state agriculture officials.

“And we’re working on retesting the rest of the areas in Oregon so we can get them open as soon as soon as they test good.” 

Link adds the opening price negotiated for Dungeness crabs is $3.00 a pound, the second highest since two years ago, which was $3.10 a pound.   

Dungeness crabs.
Credit Brian Bull / Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission

Despite the late opening, Link says he expects the state crustacean to grace many buffets and tables this holiday season.

“I think of people spreading the newspapers out the table and grabbing a bottle of wine, and some French bread, and a salad, and drawing the butter," says Link.  

"And it’s a big tradition among a lot of families, and we’re glad to get some of that Oregon Dungeness crab on the Christmas table.” 

Last season, more than 14 million pounds of crab were harvested, valued at $51 million.