Crab season delays may interfere with the holidays

Crab season in Oregon has been pushed back a second time to January 15. This will make it harder for local markets to get the crab they need.

Posted: Dec 22, 2017 4:57 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - The Dungeness Crabbing season in Oregon has now been pushed back twice. It will begin on January 15, while it usually begins on December 1.

It's being delayed for two reasons: to allow the crabs to gain more meat and because they're testing higher than what's safe for domoic acid. 

Because of this local fish markets are having to get their crab from out of state, and this means they're getting less of it. Because of this it will be harder to find crab for the holidays and the prices will be higher than usual. 

Ryan Rogers, the owner of the Fisherman's Market in Eugene, said they're getting their crab from Westport, Washington, and they didn't get quite as much as they had expected to. 

"In a normal year we'll go through between 10 and 12 thousand pounds the week of Christmas. This year we've got about 2,500 pounds. So we want to make sure people can keep up those traditions," Rogers said.

He said this isn't the first time the crabbing season has been pushed back and has put them in a bind, but he believes this is the latest start he can remember.

He said his team has traveled all over the west coast to ensure they had crab to sell in the past couple of years when it's been pushed back as well.

Their prices have been nearly $12 a pound since September, but that's about double what they usually are.

Rogers said since the shortage left them with such little crab he is concerned they'll be cutting it close for Christmas, but they will have more crab in time for the New Year.
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