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Commercial Dungeness crab season delayed

The opening of the ocean commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon will be delayed through at least Dec. 15, fishery managers announced Friday.

The commercial Dungeness crab season along the Oregon coast normally opens Dec. 1, but can be delayed to ensure a high-quality harvest. Testing measures the percentage of meat in the crabs, by weight. Delaying the season allows the crab to fill with meat.

Coast-wide testing showed some areas did not meet minimum pre-season test criteria, ODFW said in a news release.

Fishery managers from Oregon, Washington and California met Friday and decided to delay the season opening from Klipsan Beach, Wash., south to the Oregon/California border through at least Dec. 15, pending further results. Testing is still underway in Northern California to determine the season status from Point Arena to the Oregon/California border.

Recreational harvest of crab in the ocean off Oregon will open as scheduled on Dec. 1. The recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon's bays and estuaries is open year round.

Last year, the commercial crab season off the Oregon Coast was delayed by a month and opened on New Year's Eve.