Commercial crabbers on the coast of Oregon and southern Washington begin hauling in the first Dungeness crab of the season today.
The crab season was delayed by two weeks from its traditional opening date of Dec. 1. Now the crab are full of meat and ready to be caught.
Crabbers were allowed to start dropping pots Friday. They were required to wait two days before pulling them up.
Hugh Link, executive director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, says the price fishermen get for their crab — and the price consumers will pay later — will depend on how much crab comes in.
“We’re all on pins and needles. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes in and since the crab this year is so full and hardy there should be a lot of anticipation at the docks waiting for that product to come in.”
Fishermen and crab buyers agreed on an opening price that’s 15 percent higher than it was last year. Washington tribes have been catching crab since November.
The northern portion of the Washington coast won’t be open to non-tribal commercial crabbing until later in the season.