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Bay Dungeness crab fishery

The commercial bay Dungeness crab fishery is an open access fishery that does not require a special permit. Everyone participating needs to have either their individual commercial license or a crew member license and the boat needs a commercial vessel license. A logbook is required for this fishery and must be completed prior to each landing. Logbook pages must be turned into ODFW within 10 days following the month of harvest.

The Columbia River and the Chetco River are excluded from this fishery. This fishery is only open from the Tuesday after Labor Day through December 31; however, bays are only open in December if the adjacent ocean area is open for commercial. It is also closed from midnight Friday through midnight Sunday of any week and on all legal state and federal holidays. The relatively short season, a maximum of four months, constitutes only 0.2 percent of Oregon's commercially caught Dungeness crab.

This fishery only allows the use of crab rings and each vessel is limited to no more than 15. The crab rings must have a tag identifying the vessel or owner and at least one surface buoy marked with the vessel state registration number or federal documentation number in a visible, legible and permanent manner. Only male crab that meet the commercial size requirement, a minimum 6 ΒΌ inches, may be retained.

Over the past decade (2011-2021), commercial bay crabbers have landed an annual average of 31,000 pounds, with a maximum of 90,639 in 2017. While the number of participants varies annually, on average approximately 30 different vessels typically harvest more than 500 pounds each from various ports. 

For more information about the regulations, visit:

Oregon commercial fisheries regulations synopsis
Oregon Administrative Rules (OARS)

For more information about the management of the Dungeness crab fishery:

Dungeness crab fishery management plan

For inquiries about bay Dungeness crab

Mitch Vance
541-857-2557
mitch.vance@odfw.oregon.gov

Summer Henricksen
541-857-2552
summer.j.henricksen@odfw.oregon.gov

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