Crab season set to open in Oregon, Washington state

A Dungeness Crab sits in a bin after being offloaded from a fishing vessel. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Commercial fishermen in parts of Oregon and Washington state will be able to set their Dungeness crab gear on Tuesday, according to fishery managers.

Fishermen can begin pulling their gear on Friday, the Daily Astorian reported .

The lucrative commercial fishery traditionally starts Dec. 1. But the fishery was delayed this year after tests showed crab had not filled out enough.

Crab are still below the meat quality criteria required by the state between Cape Arago and Gold Beach in Oregon. Those areas will remain closed.

Recent testing shows crab are just above the required threshold in areas of Oregon and Washington state that will reopen.

More than 23 million pounds (10 million kilograms) of crab were landed in the 2017-2018 season. That brought in a record $74.2 million in ex-vessel value.

The 2017-2018 season also started late, with commercial boats finally deployed in late January. Its tardy start was due to various reasons, first because of low-meat yields, then because of price negotiations and later because of weather.

Fishery managers initially postponed the start of this season until mid-December because of low-meat quantities. The opening was then delayed longer for further tests, which were delayed because of bad weather.

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