"It won't be much of a Christmas for a lot of fishing families"

CHARLESTON, Ore. -- The Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife announced Monday the commercial Dungeness crabbing season won't open until Dec. 31st -- two weeks later than last year.

For businesses and crabbers in Charleston, this news makes the holiday season a little more difficult.

Matt LeDoux, President of Fisherman's Wharf, says his customers have already placed orders for fresh crab for the holidays -- but there's a problem.

He doesn't have any, and he won't have any until after the holidays.

"Bad news, bad news all the way around. December is a huge month for crab. We have a lot of people that that's their Christmas tradition, their New Year tradition is to have crab," said LeDoux.

LeDoux is going to try to get crab from somewhere else, but it's going to drive up the cost for him and for his customers.

"I would start looking at other options, maybe shrimp cocktails, smoked salmon, albacore tuna. I don't know, with the crab being gone it's gonna be tough," LeDoux said.

Crabbers can set their pots in the water on the morning of Dec. 28th, so you should be able to buy fresh crab by Jan. 1st or 2nd.

While many people won't have crab for Christmas, the situation is much more serious for the commercial crabbers.

Harry Allen is the captain of the fishing vessel "Shenanegan".

He says waiting for the crab to get meatier will be better financially, but that money won't come in until after the holidays.

"It won't be much of a Christmas for a lot of fishing families. It's very sad not being able to have a good Christmas and buying everyone good gifts and do the things you usually do over the holidays," Allen said.

He says his son and daughter might have to wait until after Christmas for their presents.