Dungeness Crab Sport Fishing Season Opens Statewide in California Nov. 1

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Dungeness Crab The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced today the annual Dungeness crab sport fishery opens statewide on Nov. 1. The California Fish and Game Commission approved a regulation change on Sept. 4, opening the season from the Oregon state line through Mendocino County on the first Saturday in November, the same day as the rest of the state.

Under the previous regulation, far northern California Dungeness crab fishermen would have had to wait until Nov. 29 for the season to open. That would have increased the likelihood of sport crab fishermen encountering commercial gear already on the fishing grounds in anticipation of the traditional Dec. 1 commercial Dungeness crab opener. The Fish and Game Commission decided to increase fishing opportunities for sport crab fishermen by setting the opening day earlier and making the date uniform, up and down the coast.

Every November, recreational crab fishermen in northern California set out hoop nets and crab traps from boats and piers to try and catch the crustaceans, and some divers take the crab by hand. The daily bag limit is 10 Dungeness crab per person, except when fishing from a commercial passenger fishing vessel (or “party boat”) south of Mendocino County; in that case, the limit is six. Dungeness crab may not be taken from San Francisco or San Pablo bays, which are important crab nursery areas.

For more information regarding recreational Dungeness crab fishing and regulations, please visit the DFG Marine Region Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/dungeness.asp.