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Commercial Ocean Crabbing Opens Along Much Of Oregon Coast

<p>Only male Dungeness crabs can be harvested commercially, and only when they reach a size of 6 1/4" width.</p>
<p>Only male Dungeness crabs can be harvested commercially, and only when they reach a size of 6 1/4" width.</p>

After weeks of delay, the commercial Dungeness crab season opened Friday along much of the Oregon coast.

Crab vessels began setting gear on Jan. 1 in anticipation of the opening, which is when the first pull of ocean crab pots takes place, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The commercial season traditionally begins Dec. 1, but multiple rounds of preseason testing showed low meat yields and, in some areas, elevated levels of domoic acid, prompting the delay.

Harvesting is now open from Cape Arago to the Columbia River and north into Washington. The area south of Cape Arago is closed to commercial crabbing pending further tests. Recreational crab harvesting is open from Cape Blanco to the Washington border, ODFW said.

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