Recreational and Commercial Dungeness Crab Fisheries Open South of Sonoma-Mendocino County Line, Crab Testing Continues

crab in trap
Dungeness crab in crab pot

Update – 4/4/2016  On March 11, 2016 the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and California Department of Public Health lifted the health advisory for Dungeness crab for the region south of the Sonoma-Mendocino County line (near Gualala, Mendocino County). The recreational Dungeness crab fishery has been open since this date, and the commercial fishery opened in this area on March 26.

Testing in the northern port areas that are still showing signs of unhealthy levels of domoic acid continues on a weekly basis. As of April 1, both Fort Bragg sampling areas and one area near Trinidad have yielded one clean test where all crab sampled were below 30 parts per million domoic acid concentration; more test results are expected by the end of this week. Other northern port areas have already tested clean. The latest test results are posted on the Department of Public Health’s crab testing results website.

The recreational and commercial rock crab fishery remains closed north of Piedras Blancas Light Station, San Luis Obispo County (35° 40’ North latitude), and this closure includes the San Francisco Bay. The Channel Islands of Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel are now open to both the recreational and commercial rock crab fisheries, however a closure remains in effect within an exclusion area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

  1.  34° 07.75’ N lat. 120° 00.00’ W long.;
  2.  34° 07.75’ N lat. 119° 50.00’ W long.;
  3.  33° 53.00’ N lat. 119° 50.00’ W long.;
  4.  33° 53.00’ N lat. 120° 00.00’ W long.; and
  5.  34° 07.75’ N lat. 120° 00.00’ W long.

A map of the Channel Islands rock crab closure area is available.

For the latest information regarding Dungeness and rock crab seasons, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s crab webpage or call our Dungeness crab and rock crab fishery information phone number: (831) 649-2883.

Post by Christy Juhasz, CDFW Marine Environmental Scientist ♦ CDFW photo 


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