Season opening delay north of Cape Falcon continued

The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season from Cape Falcon northward to the Washington border is further delayed until at least mid-January.

In consultation with the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), the Oregon commercial crab industry, and California and Washington fishery managers, ODFW is 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.

Start of 20/21 season set for most of state

Oregon Dungeness commercial crab fishermen, from the California border up to just north of Garibaldi (Cape Falcon), will be allowed to start pulling their pots on the morning of December 16th.

The commercial Dungeness crab fishery will remain closed 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. 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.

Season will be delayed at least 2 weeks

Based on preseason testing results 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.

Oregon commercial Dungeness crab industry leading on reducing risks to whales

ODFW is asking commercial Dungeness crab industry representatives to help design the next steps in reducing risk of whale and sea turtle entanglements in crab fishing gear. ODFW is hosting virtual public meetings Oct. 8 and Oct. 22 to further develop the draft conservation plan describing Oregon’s actions to support both this culturally iconic fishery and reduce entanglements. NEWS RELEASE

Commission adopts new commercial Dungeness crab regulations

SALEM, Ore.—The Fish & Wildlife Commission adopted measures to reduce the risk of whale entanglement in commercial Dungeness crab gear, while balancing economic impacts to this important fishery during their meeting today(Friday, September 11th).

The new rules will be effective during the coming crab season, which begins Dec. 1, 2020. Starting May 1 each season, the new rules reduce crab pot limits by 20 percent, and restrict gear to inside 40 fathoms (the commission opted to adjust from 30 fathoms), to avoid deeper waters where humpback whales are more abundant. A season tag requirement to identify gear used after May 1 and a three-year sunset to evaluate these measures were also adopted. The Commission also put in place other measures to reduce overlap that are detailed in the Commission agenda item summary. For biotoxin management measures in the crab fishery, the Commission aligned buffer area management and effective date of management measures to be consistent with the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s crab biotoxin rules.

USDA making Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP) available

The USDA announced that it is making approximately $530 million available to assist U.S. fishermen through the Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP). This program is being funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Fishermen can sign-up for relief through the program from September 14, 2020 to December 14, 2020.

Payments are based on 2019 landings of Atka mackerel; Crab, Dungeness, King, Snow, Southern Tanner; Flounder, Geoduck, Goosefish, Herrings, Lobster, Pacific Cod, Pacific Ocean Perch, Pollock, Sablefish, Salmon, Sole, Squid, Tuna, and Turbot.

Post-season Derelict Commercial Crab Gear Recovery Program Open

ODFW Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery Update

The post-season derelict commercial crab gear recovery program is open 8/31 through 10/11.

Report locations of derelict commercial crab gear to 541-867-0300, ext. 267 or email

For more information see