By:  John Sackton December 7, 2015,

The Oregon Dept. of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that they are keeping a closure in place south of Hecata Head to the California border. Hecata head is between Newport and Coos Bay, two of Oregon’s principal crabbing ports.

“While laboratory results of recent sampling show domoic acid is below the action level, the closure remains in effect out of an abundance of caution. Some samples tested this week are close to the action level and the overall trend shows increased domoic acid levels over the past two weeks. Additional samples will be taken to assure domoic acid remains below the action level, leading to a safe reopening of the fishery”, said the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture.

As a result, the commercial opening south of Hecata Head will not occur until the health closure is lifted.

The Dept. also said “The opening of the commercial season for ocean crab harvesting north of Heceta Head has not been set. The level of domoic acid is just one of several factors that will determine the opening date. ODFW, in coordination with ODA, the Oregon commercial crab industry, and the Washington and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife, will continue considering options for opening the commercial season.”

There is a tri-state call on latest testing results and opening plans today, and already a significant portion of the coast shows domoic acid levels well below the FDA health threshold.

As a result, some decisions about opening the Dungeness crab season are expected in the near future.

Re-printed with permission of


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