Friday, December 20, 2019

Crab Season to Start Dec. 31

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2019 at 12:25 PM

click to enlarge It's finally happening. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • It's finally happening.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today the news so many have been waiting to hear: The commercial crab season for Humboldt County will start Dec. 31.

After being delayed twice while waiting for the crab to fatten up a bit, fishermen can now begin setting gear in local waters on Dec. 28.

“Dungeness crab quality test results from Dec. 17, 2019 met the minimum guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee,” the release states. “Director Charlton H. Bonham had announced a delay to Dec. 31 based on the last round of tests conducted on Dec. 3, 2019, but with these new results no additional delay is warranted.”

Read the full CDFW release below:


Northern Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Will Open Dec. 31
The commercial Dungeness crab season in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties is scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, to be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2019.

Delays due to quality only affect the Dungeness crab fishery in this area (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9). Dungeness crab quality test results from Dec. 17, 2019 met the minimum guidelines established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee. Director Charlton H. Bonham had announced a delay to Dec. 31 based on the last round of tests conducted on Dec. 3, 2019, but with these new results no additional delay is warranted. Tri-State managers met this morning to determine that their respective Dungeness crab fisheries would open coastwide within the Tri-State region on Dec. 31, 2019.

No vessel may take or land crab in an area closed for a meat quality delay (i.e., Fish and Game districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 through Dec. 30). In addition, any vessel that takes, possesses onboard or lands crab from ocean waters outside of a delayed area is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in any delayed area for 30 days following the opening of those areas. Permitted vessels that have already participated in the Dec. 15 opener south of the Sonoma-Mendocino county line would not be able to set gear in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties until 12:01 am Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. This applies to any delayed areas in Oregon and Washington as well. For more information, please see CDFW's Frequently Asked Questions regarding the 2019-2020 Dungeness crab commercial season.

To help minimize the risk of whale and sea turtle entanglement in trap gear, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends implementation of Best Fishing Practicesdeveloped by the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group. This includes following guidance on surface-gear set-up, reducing excess line, using neutralbuoyancy line and minimizing knots and lead.

For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit:
https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/Whale-Safe-Fisheries and
www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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