2017-2018 Season Update for Recreational Dungeness Crab Fishing

crab in trap
Dungeness crab in trap CDFW photo by C. Juhasz

The recreational Dungeness crab season is now under way, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind recreational crabbers about some recent changes in trap regulations.

Crabbers are able to use another trap owner’s traps with written permission and, new for this season, a trap owner can issue this permission electronically (for example, by email or text) to another person who uses their trap, provided the person’s GO ID number is marked on the trap buoy and referenced in the note.

Here are the trap regulations that became effective last season:

  • Crab trap buoys must display the “GO ID” number of the operator of the trap.
  • Crab traps must contain at least one destruct device made from a single strand of untreated cotton twine size No. 120 or less that creates an unobstructed opening anywhere in the top or upper half of the trap that is at least 5 inches in diameter when this material corrodes or fails.
  • Crab traps must not be deployed or fished seven days prior to the opening of the Dungeness crab season.

More detailed information regarding these trap regulations can be found in the Summary of Crab Trap Regulations flyer.

Any updated crab consumption advisories issued by the California Department of Public Health and fishery closure information can be found on the CDFW Health Advisories and Closures web page.

For more information on the crab fishery, please visit the CDFW crabs page.

post by Christy Juhasz, CDFW Environmental Scientist