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Commercial Dungeness crab fishery

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2020-21 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

Weekly updates

Date

Update

2/8/21 - Monday

In consultation with Tri-State managers, Oregon Department of Agriculture and industry advisors we are opening Oregon’s crab harvest area 50-A (Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border), in coordination with Washington’s coastal state crab fishery from the WA/CAN border to the WA/OR border, as follows:

73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): February 13, 8:00AM
Hold Inspections: February 15
(see schedule in industry notice that will be posted Monday (2/8))
Start date (pulling gear): February 16, 9:00AM

See additional details posted in a full industry notice linked above.

2/5/21 - Friday

In consultation with Tri-State managers, Oregon Department of Agriculture and industry advisors we intend to file temporary rules on Monday (2/8) to open Oregon’s crab harvest area 50-A (Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border), anticipated to be in coordination with Washington’s coastal state crab fishery from the WA/CAN border to the WA/OR border, as follows:

73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): February 13, 8:00AM
Hold Inspections: February 15
(see schedule in industry notice that will be posted Monday (2/8))
Start date (pulling gear): February 16, 9:00AM

Additional details will be posted in a full industry notice on Monday (2/8).

1/28/21 - Thursday

The season opening of Oregon’s harvest area 50-A (Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border) will remain delayed until on or about February 15 at the latest. We will continue consultations with industry advisors and Tri-State managers next week to determine if 50-A can open in coordination with WA earlier than February 15th. If a coordinated opener with WA isn’t achievable, we intend to open 50-A independently, with a line at the Columbia river, on or around February 15 at the latest.

ODA will continue to regularly test crab viscera from all areas in Oregon that have razor clam domoic acid results above the alert level of 20ppm. For details on specific areas being sampled next week see ODA’s crab biotoxin information website here. All ODA Oregon crab biotoxin test results are posted here.

1/22/21 - Friday

The season opening of Oregon’s harvest area 50-A (Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border) will remain delayed until on or about February 15 at the latest.  We will continue consultations with industry advisors and Tri-State managers to determine if 50-A can open in coordination with WA earlier than February 15th. If a coordinated opener with WA isn’t achievable, we intend to open 50-A independently, with a line at the Columbia river, on or around February 15 at the latest.

Crab from Oregon harvest area A and the Columbia River were collected last week and results are posted here. ODA will continue to regularly test crab viscera from all areas in Oregon that have razor clam domoic acid results above the alert level of 20ppm. For details on specific areas being sampled this week see ODA’s crab biotoxin information website here.
1/15/21 - Friday

The season opening of Oregon’s harvest area 50-A (Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border) will remain delayed until on or about February 15 at the latest.

In consultation with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), the Oregon commercial crab industry, and California and Washington fishery managers, we are continuing to delay the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River from Cape Falcon northward to the Washington border to try to coordinate an orderly start with the Washington coastal Dungeness crab fishery (WA). Results from recent domoic acid testing of crab conducted by the state of Washington continue to exceed federally established thresholds for human health (see results here), and therefore Washington is delaying the coastal fishery.

We will continue consultations with industry advisors and Tri-State managers to determine if 50-A can open in coordination with WA earlier than February 15th. If a coordinated opener with WA isn’t achievable, we intend to open 50-A independently, with a line at the Columbia river, on or around February 15 at the latest.

Crab from Oregon harvest area A and the Columbia River are being collected today and results will be posted here. ODA will continue to regularly test crab viscera from all areas in Oregon that have razor clam domoic acid results above the alert level of 20ppm. For details on specific areas being sampled this week see ODA’s crab biotoxin information website here.
1/7/21 - Thursday

In consultation with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), the Oregon commercial crab industry, and California and Washington fishery managers, we are continuing to delay the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River from Cape Falcon northward to the Washington border in order to coordinate an orderly start with the Washington coastal Dungeness crab fishery. The most recent samples of crab viscera from Oregon’s areas A, B and the Columbia River were all below the action level of 30ppm, see ODA results here. However, results from recent domoic acid testing of crab conducted by the state of Washington continue to exceed federally established thresholds for human health (see results here), and therefore Washington is delaying the coastal fishery until further testing is conducted.

Oregon’s harvest area 50-A (Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border) will remain closed beyond January 15. We plan to talk with industry advisors and Tri-State managers again next week once additional DA results are available from WA. We will provide an update on the status of the season opening for the area north of Cape Falcon on this page once those discussions occur.

ODA will continue to regularly test crab viscera from all areas in Oregon that have razor clam domoic acid results above the alert level of 20ppm.

12/18/20 - Friday

In consultation with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), the Oregon commercial crab industry, and California and Washington fishery managers, we are continuing to delay the opening of the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River from Cape Falcon northward to the Washington border in order to coordinate an orderly start with the Washington coastal Dungeness crab fishery. Oregon’s harvest area 50-A (Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border) will remain closed until around January 15 (or longer) to allow for the additional domoic acid testing in both states.

Results from recent domoic acid testing of crab conducted by the state of Washington continue to exceed federally established thresholds for human health, and therefore Washington is delaying the coastal fishery until further testing is conducted. ODA will continue to regularly test crab viscera from all areas in Oregon that have razor clam domoic acid results above the alert level of 20ppm. Crab domoic acid test results can be found on ODA’s webpage here.

12/10 - Thursday

Transit prohibition clarification: consistent with action taken by ODFW in the past relative to closed areas from partial fishery openers, transiting with crab onboard through closed areas is prohibited by ODFW regulations. For this season, transiting with crab on board from the area north of Cape Falcon to the OR/WA border will be prohibited until the fishery opens in harvest area 50-A. Landing crab into an open area and trucking them for processing/selling into a closed area is allowed.

See here for a revised industry notice from WDFW regarding this issue.

12/8 - Tuesday

Based on meat recovery and domoic acid results we are opening the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season south of Cape Falcon (45º 46' 00" N. Lat.) to the Oregon/California border as follows:

73 hr presoak begins (setting gear): December 13, 8:00AM
Hold Inspections: December 15, see schedule in industry notice posted above
Start date (pulling gear): December 16, 9:00AM

The commercial Dungeness crab fishery will remain closed from Cape Falcon northward to the Washington border in order to coordinate an orderly start with the Washington coastal Dungeness crab fishery. Results from recent domoic acid testing of crab conducted by the state of Washington exceeded federally established thresholds for human health, and therefore Washington is delaying the coastal fishery until further testing is conducted. ODA will continue to regularly test crab viscera from all areas in Oregon that have razor clam domoic acid results above the alert level of 20ppm.

See industry notice posted above for more details.

12/4 - Friday

All of the meat quality results from round 2 of preseason testing for the Tri-State area are linked above.

Crab domoic acid test results from areas A,B,G,H and I are posted on ODA’s webpage here and the remaining results will be posted as they are available.

We will be talking with WA and CA Tri-State managers and the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee early next week and hope to have a season structure announcement released on Tuesday afternoon.

12/1 - Tuesday

All of the meat quality results from round 2 of preseason testing for the Tri-State area are linked above.

Crab domoic acid test results from areas A,B and D-J will be posted on ODA’s webpage here as they are available throughout the week.

11/25 - Friday

Round 2 of preseason testing will get underway beginning this upcoming weekend.

Meat recovery results from round 2 will be posted on this page when they are available and the crab domoic acid test results will be posted on ODA’s webpage here

11/19 - Friday

Based on the preseason testing results (linked above) and consultations with Washington and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife, there is 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. See industry notice linked above for more information.

Round 2 of preseason testing for all areas that did not meet criteria will get underway the week of 11/29/20

11/13 - Friday

All of the meat quality results from round 1 of Oregon’s preseason testing are linked above. Crab domoic acid test results from area A and B are posted on ODA’s webpage here and we anticipate results from the remaining areas to be available early next week.

Tri-State fishery managers will meet and decide next week upon a season opening structure once meat quality and domoic acid results are available from all three states.

If you are interested in volunteering for round 2 (only areas that didn’t meet criteria) of preseason testing in your area please call Kelly Corbett at 541-270-5083 to discuss the requirements for this year.

11/12 - Thursday

All of the meat quality results from round 1 that are available today are linked above. We anticipate meat quality results from all of the remaining Oregon areas tomorrow and they will be posted above when they are available.

We greatly appreciate all of the captains and crews that were willing to abide by the modified procedures and help out with completing round 1 of testing this year. We also really appreciate the on-going coordination with ODCC staff and the processing plants to ensure all of these tests get completed.

If you are interested in volunteering for round 2 (only areas that didn’t meet criteria) of preseason testing in your area please call Kelly Corbett at 541-270-5083 to discuss the requirements for this year.

11/6 - Friday

The first full round of preseason testing for meat quality and domoic acid coastwide is planned to this start this upcoming weekend (week of Nov 8th).

Meat quality results from round 1 will be posted on this page when they are available and the crab domoic acid test results will be posted on ODA’s webpage here

10/29 - Thursday

Results from Washing and California’s optional early round of preseason testing is attached above.

The first full round of preseason testing for meat quality and domoic acid coastwide is scheduled for the week of Nov 8th. If you are interested in volunteering for preseason testing in your area please call Kelly Corbett at 541-270-5083 to discuss the requirements for this year.

Results from round 1 will be posted on this page when they are available. 

10/19 - Monday

Preseason testing update - Due to safety concerns about the potential risk of transmission of COVID-19 to preseason testing volunteer captains, crews and ODFW staff, we do not anticipate having observers on-board any preseason test trips this fall. We are currently still investigating alternatives to help ensure testing protocols are followed and provide assurance for the integrity of the test results. This year we will be relying heavily on the Oregon Dungeness Crab Advisory Committee members from each port to recommend vessels willing to volunteer to conduct the tests following all of the requirements within the preseason testing protocol. Additionally, at a minimum we will be requiring all voluntary testing vessels to have a vessel monitoring system (VMS, AIS or other) on throughout the duration of testing trips, all captains and crew members on testing trips will be required to sign an affidavit attesting that they followed all testing procedures, and all test crab landing will be observed by dockside samplers prior to processing. If you have a vessel monitoring system (Electronic monitoring, VMS, AIS or other) please let us know if you are willing and interested in volunteering for helping out with testing this year.

Licensing Reminder - ODFW offices remain closed to the public through December 31, 2020. If you normally go to an ODFW office to purchase your commercial documents, you will not be able to do so this year. You will be able to purchase your documents by returning the enclosed renewal application by mail (include credit card information or a check), by fax (credit card purchases only) or contact an ODFW office near you for alternatives.

                Newport 541-867-0300 (fax 541-867-0311)
                Charleston 541-888-5515 (fax 541-888-6860)
                Astoria 503-325-2462 (fax 503-325-8227)

Buoy tags will not be available for in-person pickup so you will need to allow adequate time for shipping to a physical address. These must be signed for and cannot be sent to PO Boxes or unattended addresses.

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