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What a catch! Dungeness season opens Jan. 4

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the commercial Dungeness crab season will open north of Cape Arago to the Washington southern border starting Jan. 4.

“All areas in the Tri-State regions north of Cape Arago, Oregon have met the respective minimum meat recovery criteria, while multiple areas south of Cape Arago have not,” said an ODFW release Saturday.

Commercial crab vessels are allowed to begin the 73-hour presoak in approved areas starting 8 a.m. Jan. 1. Within the first 30 days after opening, all vessels must obtain a hold inspection before participating in the fishery, the release said.

The area south of Cape Arago remains closed to the fishery due to persistent high levels of domoic acid during the third and most recent round of testing.

Officials said they will monitor the situation going forward.

“We will continue to consult with industry and consider management measures to open the remaining areas in Oregon simultaneously,” the release said.