The Dungeness crab season in the Bay Area begins on October 1. This gives way too many restaurant options for people to choose where to feast on dungeness crab in the bay area. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has delayed the commercial crab season for two weeks and has imposed restrictions on recreational crabbing. Restrictions set include using a special gear and abiding by strict regulations. If you wanna know more about the Dungeness crab season in the Bay Area, this article covers the regulations, equipment, and costs of Dungeness crab fishing.
Recreational catching of Dungeness crabs
While a limited number of locations allow recreational catching of Dungeness crabs on the bay, the catch season for the Bay Area is now open. You can fish for Dungeness crabs using nets, snares, or professional-style crab pots from shore. There is a quota of 10 per person per day, and you must not keep more than 10 Dungeness crabs.
While a temporary trap restriction will continue to apply in Zone 3, recreational fishing will continue in all other local zones. In addition, the agency has opened Zones 1 and 2 to recreational crab fishing, and it will assess the data on turtle and whale populations to determine the impact of any restrictions. The recreational Dungeness crab season begins November 6, and any mid-season restrictions will be announced five days in advance.
The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association’s Mike Conroy says the crab traps were a major source of income for fisheries in California. “The regulations have caused significant damage to the coast’s coastal economy and fishing industry,” he says. He urges people to consider the impact of these regulations on their businesses.
Commercial fishing season
The Bay Area’s commercial fishing season traditionally begins on November 15 but has been delayed since 2015. The reason behind is the concern over domoic acid, a toxin found in Dungeness crabs. Whales and other marine mammals can get caught in crab pot lines. The crab season has ended in many locations and is delayed in other regions. Don’t miss out on the bounty if you live in the Bay Area.
The crabbing industry has seen significant changes in recent years, including a ban on trawling and a new, stricter monitoring program for whales. This year’s season will feature increased regulations to protect these animals. Further, a large portion of the crabbing industry is regulated by the state, with the federal government requiring that certain practices be followed to protect whales and leatherback sea turtles.
The regulations for Dungeness crab season in the Bay Area are open for commercial harvest on December 1, 2021, and will run from the Mendocino/Sonoma county line northward to the California/Oregon border. The fishing season will include a 64-hour gear setting period that begins no earlier than November 28. Fish and Game Code Section 8283 will govern the commercial season.
For recreational fishing, the recreational season for Dungeness crab in the Bay Area runs from November 3, 2018, through July 30, 2019. The size limit for each species is six inches, and the minimum size for each type is five and a half inches. There are stricter requirements for harvesting females, but ethical fishers will always throw them back. The females have a larger, triangular abdomen.
Crab traps and other fishing gear used in harvesting the shellfish are not permitted during the recreational season. The Department of Fish and Wildlife may prohibit using these gears during the crab-catching season. However, if the regulations are enforced, crabbers should still have ample time to collect their catch. Therefore, there will be no selling stations along the wharf.
Cost of catch and equipment
Commercial fisherman Ben Platt of Crescent City, is responsible for bringing in the largest batches. While whales have delayed the opening day south of Mendocino County, the opening date was still a day early. However, the bay area crabbers agree on a date to set their gear and the 48-hour soak period that should be followed.
The cost of fresh Dungeness crab is $3 to $6 per pound, and pick-your-own crab prices are likely to be even higher. In addition to those costs, the demand for crab is so high that prices are reasonable to rise significantly. The Bay Area’s crab season usually coincides with the San Francisco crab season, so prices are expected to rise. However, a few crab fishermen are confident that the high demand will make the price of Dungeness crab worth it.