Saturday, January 28, 2023

Citing Poor Meat Quality, Mendocino County’s Dungeness Crab Season Delayed Again

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The following is a press release issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:


A haul of Dungeness crab [Picture provided by CDFW]

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is continuing the temporary recreational crab trap restriction in Fishing Zones 3, 4, 5 and 6 due to presence of humpback whales and the potential for entanglement from trap gear. The recreational crab trap restriction for Fishing Zones 1 and 2 was lifted on Nov. 28, 2022. CDFW reminds recreational crabbers that take of Dungeness crab by other methods, including hoop nets and crab snares, is allowed during a temporary trap restriction.

The commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Fishing Zones 3-6 will also remain delayed due to the presence of high numbers of humpback whales and the potential for entanglement with lines and traps. In addition, pursuant to Fish and Game Code 8276.2, CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham has also delayed the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties (Fishing Zones 1 and 2) due to poor crab meat quality test results (PDF)(opens in new tab). The commercial Dungeness crab fishery in this area is delayed until 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, pending another round of meat quality testing. If results indicate good quality, the fishery will open and be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that will begin at 8:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022.

Map of California’s fishing zones [Map from CDFW]

CDFW anticipates the next risk assessment will take place on or before Dec. 22, 2022, at which time Director Bonham will re-evaluate the temporary recreational crab trap restriction and commercial fishery delay in Fishing Zones 3-6. That risk assessment is expected to inform the potential for a commercial fishery opener and modification of the recreational trap restriction in Fishing Zones 3-6 on Dec. 31, 2022.

For more information related to the risk assessment process, please visit CDFW’s Whale Safe Fisheries page or more information on the Dungeness crab fishery, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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