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Northern CA commercial Dungeness crab season to open Jan. 15

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the northern California Dungeness crab fishery in Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties will open at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, January 15. The opener will be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that will begin at 8:01 a.m. on January 12.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham had delayed the season three times after crab quality test results in November and December indicated that the crab were not ready for harvesting. January 15 is the latest the Director can delay the season due to quality testing.

Any vessel that landed crab from other ocean waters prior to the season opening in Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties) is prohibited from participating in the crab fishery in District 6, 7, 8, and 9 for 30 days following the opening of those areas. In Districts 6, 7, 8, and 9, the 30-day wait period ends on February 14, 2018.

You can click here to access the Frequently Asked Questions page.

"Although we have witnessed delays in the opening of the Dungeness crab commercial fishery in recent seasons due to domoic acid, a delay in the northern portion of the fishery due to quality isn't unprecedented. The last time the northern season opener was delayed due to quality occurred with the 2011-12 and 2012-12 seasons and both seasons started on January 15," said Christy Juhasz, a CDFW Environmental Scientist.

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