Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Opens Dec. 1 in Northern California

Fishermen servicing a Dungeness crab trap
Commercial fishermen servicing a Dungeness crab trap
CDFW photo by C. Juhasz

Quality test results from Nov. 15 indicate that the commercial Dungeness crab fishery can open on schedule on Dec. 1 in northern California. Dungeness crab collected from Crescent City, Trinidad, and Eureka showed that crab exceeded the meat recovery criteria established by the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee. Following a call with Tri-State managers from Oregon and Washington on Nov. 19, the entire Tri-State area will open Dec. 1. Please refer to Oregon’s and Washington’s respective industry notices for more information.

The northern commercial Dungeness crab fishery from the Sonoma/Mendocino county line north to the California/Oregon border (Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9) will open at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec.1, 2021 and the fishery will be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 8:01 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 (Fish and Game Code Section 8283).

The commercial fishery is currently open from Lopez Point in Monterey County to the Mexico border. The commercial fishery will continue to be delayed from the Sonoma/Mendocino county line to Lopez Point, due to the presence of high numbers of humpback whales in the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay. Continuing surveys will determine when the fishery can open in that area.

For more information on Dungeness crab, please visit:

For more information on the Tri-State Dungeness Crab Committee, please visit:

post by CDFW staff