The highly anticipated Dungeness crab sport fishery opened Saturday, Nov. 3. During crabbing season, recreational crabbers fish for Dungeness using hoop nets and crab traps from boats and piers. Some fishermen employ crab loop traps on the end of a fishing rod. Divers also harvest crabs by hand.
"Crab populations appear to be strong coming off another record-setting year in the commercial fishery," said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Senior Environmental Scientist Pete Kalvass, who oversees the Invertebrate Management Project. "However, crab in northern California above Cape Mendocino may be somewhat underweight for the first few weeks of the season due to a late molt."
The most popular methods for catching the tasty crustacean are with crab pots (or traps), loop traps and hoop nets. There is no limit to the number of pots or nets that can be fished recreationally, except when fishing from a public fishing pier where only two fishing appliances may be used.
For information regarding recreational Dungeness crab fishing regulations and other crab species, please visit the DFG Marine Region website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/crabs.asp.