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2022-23 Commercial Crab Fishing Season Opening Weekly Updates

In accordance with the Tri-State protocol (revised May 2020, pdf) pre-season testing in Oregon will begin in early November. Meat recovery and biotoxin results from the test fishery will be used as a basis for deciding the crab season opening date(s). In partnership with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission and the commercial Dungeness crab industry, ODFW collects and tests crab out of the six major crabbing ports in Oregon. Weekly testing updates, along with information about season opening status will be posted below. Weekly updates will be provided until the decision to open the season is made.

Season Opening Industry Notices and Test Results (pdfs)

Commercial Dungeness crab fishery

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Other commercial crab fisheries

22-23 Season Opening Information

Weekly updates

Date

Update

2/3/23

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon State Police were notified of a potential large quantity of faulty zip ties to have been sold recently in coastal stores, including to the commercial fishing industry. We are providing this information to encourage all crabbers to regularly check that their buoy tags are secured adequately and replace any potentially faulty buoy tag attachment devices.

GEAR ACCOUNTABILITY: This notice is also a reminder that it is the responsibility of the vessel operator to ensure every crab pot that they have in the ocean for commercial purposes has a current season buoy tag attached per OAR 635-005-0480.

REPLACEMENT TAGS: ODFW will not be issuing replacement tags for faulty attachment mechanisms of buoy tags.

Industry notice posted above.

1/26/23

In consultation with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the commercial crab industry, based on recent domoic acid results from preseason testing, ODFW is opening the remaining portion of the Oregon ocean commercial Dungeness crab season on the southern coast as follows:

Cape Arago (43° 17' 00" N. Lat.) southward to the Oregon/California border  (42° 00' 00" N. Lat.)

73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): February 1, 8:00AM
Hold Inspections: February 3, see page 3
Start date (pulling gear): February 4, 9:00AM

Evisceration Requirements
As of the date of this posting there is currently an evisceration requirement in crab harvest area 50-I, effective 1/19/23. This means any crab landed from 50-I, with a landing date of 1/19/2023 or after, is required to be eviscerated until ODA removes 50-I from the biotoxin management zone (BMZ). This includes all crab from a landing where any crab was crab taken from 50-I. Please review information on ODA's website here for more information.

While harvest area 50-I is the only area currently affected by the BMZ, this could change by the time the South-of-Arago fishery opens to pull gear on February 4, pending crab test results (some in progress, some planned in coming days). Areas 50-J and 50-K are of particular concern based on test results so far. It is imperative that harvesters and buyers closely track any changes in the BMZ as crab biotoxin testing will continue through much of Oregon in coming weeks and could result in adding or removing evisceration requirement areas. To sign up for ODA email and/or text alerts with information about crab biotoxin status changes and sampling see ODA's webpage here.

See full industry notice posted above for more details.

1/20/23

Evisceration requirement in 50-I, effective 1/19/23 - There was one crab with elevated viscera in area 50-J that triggers an eviscerationl requirement in buffer harvest area I (50-I), effective 1/19/23. This means any crab landed from 50-I, with a landing date of 1/19/2023 or after, will need to be eviscerated. This would include all crab from a landing where any crab were taken from 50-I. Please review information on ODA’s website here for more information.

Information for the pending Cape Arago south to OR/CA border opener – We plan to announce the season opening structure for this area next week once we receive sample results from crab collected from crab harvest area 50-J. We anticipate the sample to get collected on Monday and results to be released by the end of the week.

  • If all results are below alert level we plan to open the area on Feb 4 (presoak start on Feb 1).  While 1 additional test will be needed to open without an evisceration requirement, timing the opening on Feb 4 under this scenario would allow time for the subsequent sample to get collected, analyzed and potentially remove a need for an evisceration requirement for crab harvest areas I, J and K.
  • If there are elevated results we plan to open the area on Feb 1 (presoak start Jan 29) and crab from harvest areas J and K would open with an evisceration requirement. Crab harvest area 50-L would open without any restrictions. Depending on the timing of results next week there may be less than 5 day notification provided prior to the start of the pre-soak period.
1/13/23

Information for the pending Cape Arago to OR/CA border opener - One round of all clear area K domoic acid results are out and posted here. We are working with the fleet to get more samples collected next week from areas J, K and L. Samples in areas with elevated biotoxins must be collected at least a week a part, so the earliest that area K can be resampled is next Tuesday (1/17).  We will be using additional biotoxin results from the south coast to help evaluate a season opening structure with an opening date around the first week of February. This opening may include an evisceration requirement depending upon additional biotoxin results.

Information on closed area transit allowance – There have been a lot of questions about the new allowance for closed area transit as it relates to the other states fair start regulations and notification requirements. If you are dual-permitted and want to transit closed areas, please contact the WDFW or CDFW for questions specific to your situation.

1/6/22

In consultation with the crab industry, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and California and Washington fishery managers, based on meat recovery and domoic acid results from preseason testing, ODFW is opening the Oregon ocean commercial Dungeness crab season as follows:

Cape Falcon (45° 46' 00" N. Lat.) southward to Cape Arago (43° 17' 00" N. Lat.)

73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): January12, 8:00AM
Hold Inspections: January 14, see page 3
Start date (pulling gear): January 15, 9:00AM

Cape Falcon (45° 46' 00" N. Lat.) northward to the Oregon/Washington border (42° 15' 00" N. Lat.)

73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): January 29, 8:00AM
Hold Inspections: January 31, see page 4
Start date (pulling gear): February 1, 9:00AM

In consultation with the crab industry, ODA, and California and Washington fishery managers, ODFW is delaying the opening of the area south of Cape Arago to the Oregon/California border. This delay will allow completion of additional testing for domoic acid and help determine a season opening structure for this area.

New closed area transit allowance (by temporary rule):
Vessels may possess and land Dungeness crab in an area that is otherwise closed to take of Dungeness crab for commercial purposes. See industry notice and transit one page linked about for more information.

1/5/23

In round 4 of preseason testing, all three Oregon meat recovery areas that were retested met recovery criteria (Astoria, Port Orford and Brookings). All Tri-State meat recovery results are linked above. All crab domoic acid results will be posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here.

We plan to meet with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee this afternoon to gather input on the season opening structure. We plan to meet with Tri-State managers on Friday, Jan 6th to decide on the season opening structure.

12/22/22

In round 3 of preseason testing, all three Oregon meat recovery areas that were retested did not meet recovery criteria (Astoria, Port Orford and Brookings). All Tri-State meat recovery results are linked above. Current domoic acid results indicate elevated viscera results from crab harvest areas I (making the flanking harvest areas H and J buffer zones, and subject to more testing). All crab domoic acid results are posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here.

Based on these results and consultations with ODA, Washington and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife, there was Tri-State agreement to delay the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season from the OR/CA border to the US/Canada border until at least January 15. This delay will allow completion of additional testing for meat recovery and domoic acid to provide confidence that crab harvested from Oregon waters are of high quality for the season opening.

12/20/22

Round 3 meat recovery results are posted above.

All crab domoic acid results will be posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here when they are available.

We plan to meet with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee tomorrow to gather input on the season opening structure. We plan to meet with Tri-State managers on Thursday, Dec 22nd to decide to either continue the coastwide delay or open part of the coast.

12/15/22

Round 3 of preseason testing is underway. Meat recovery results for Astoria, Port Orford and Brookings are anticipated to all be available by Monday (12/19).

Crab were also collected for domoic acid testing from crab harvest areas A, E, G, H, I, J, K and L. All crab domoic acid results will be posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here when they are available.

We plan to meet with Tri-State managers on Thursday, Dec 22nd to decide to either continue the coastwide delay or open part of the coast.

12/7/22

In round 2 of preseason testing, three out of the four Oregon meat recovery areas that were retested did not meet recovery criteria (Astoria, Port Orford and Brookings). All Tri-State meat recovery results are linked above. Current domoic acid results indicate elevated viscera results from crab harvest areas I and K. All crab domoic acid results are posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here.

Based on these results and consultations with ODA, Washington and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife, there was a Tri-State agreement to delay the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season from Point Arena, California to the US/Canada border until at least December 31. This delay will allow completion of additional testing for meat recovery and domoic acid to provide confidence that crab harvested from Oregon waters are of high quality for the season opening. See industry notice above for additional details.

12/6/22

Oregon round 2 meat recovery results are linked above.

All crab domoic acid results are/will be posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here when they are available.

We plan to meet with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee today to gather input on the season opening structure. We plan to meet with Tri-State managers tomorrow (12/7) to decide to either continue the coastwide delay or open part of the coast.

12/1/22

Round 2 of preseason testing is still underway. At this time meat recovery results for Port Orford (area K) was 20.7% and Brookings (area L) was 21.0%. We anticipate Astoria (area A) meat recovery result by Friday and Garibaldi (area B) by early next week.

Crab were also collected for domoic acid testing from areas A, E, I, J, K, L and we are still trying to obtain a sample from area H. All crab domoic acid results will be posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here when they are available next week.

We plan to meet with Tri-State managers on Wednesday, Dec 7th to decide to either continue the coastwide delay or open part of the coast.

11/18/22

In round 1 of preseason testing, four out of the eight Oregon meat recovery areas did not meet recovery criteria (Astoria, Garibaldi, Port Orford and Brookings). All Tri-State meat recovery results are linked above. Domoic acid results from this round indicated elevated viscera results from crab harvest areas I, K and L. All crab domoic acid results are posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here.

Based on these results and consultations with ODA, Washington and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife, there was a Tri-State agreement to delay the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season from Point Arena, California to the US/Canada border until at least December 16. This delay will allow completion of additional testing for meat recovery and domoic acid to provide confidence that crab harvested from Oregon waters are of high quality for the season opening. See industry notice above for additional details.

11/10 - Thursday

Five out of the eight meat recovery results for OR crab testing areas are posted at the link above (titled ‘Tri-State Crab Preseason Meat Recovery Results’) and the remaining will get posted early next week.

All crab domoic acid results will be posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website here when they are available next week.

11/2 - Wednesday Volunteer boats are lined up coastwide to collect crab for meat recovery and domoic acid from all 12 crab harvest areas starting this upcoming weekend, weather permitting. To ensure testing protocols are followed we are planning to have onboard observers for all gear retrieval trips.

Tri-State area meat recovery results will be posted on this page just above this table when they are available. All crab domoic acid results will be posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture’s website here.

If you are interested in volunteering to participate in subsequent rounds of testing if they are needed, please give Kelly Corbett (541-270-5083) a call to discuss as soon as possible.
10/14 - Friday We are lining up volunteer captains/boats coastwide to collect crab for meat recovery and domoic acid from all 12 crab harvest areas targeting the week of Nov 7, weather permitting. To ensure testing protocols are followed we are planning to have onboard observers for all gear retrieval trips.

Tri-State area meat recovery results will be posted on this page just above this table when they are available. All crab domoic acid results are posted on Oregon Department of Agriculture's website here.

If you are interested in volunteering to participate in preseason testing please give Kelly Corbett (541-270-5083) a call to discuss.
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