Crab fishermen heading out for season

CHARLESTON, Ore. -- After being delayed for nearly two weeks, the commercial dungeness crab boats are heading out.

In Charleston, it was madness Thursday night, as boats lined up along the coast and fishermen were gearing up to start setting traps.

Hugh Link from the Dungeness Crab Commission, says it should be a good year. "All areas are completely ready and consumers can look forward to a high quality product this year," he said.

At $2.65 per pound, the price has been set. "It is 35 cents higher than last year's $2.30, so I think everyone was happy," Link said.

But some fishermen hope that price isn't permanent. Stuart Schuttpelz is one of them. "It's a starting point to safely get the gear in the water so everyone could get a pre soak," he said. "We were hoping for more, but with the safety factors of the fishery a lot of boats want to utilize that, and it's worth it for them to get the gear to sea."

Still, fishermen are eager to do what they do best. "We're gonna work pretty much around the clock in rotation, probably as long as the weather will allow us to be out there," said Schuttpelz.

One thing is sure, they are all hoping for another good season. "Only mother nature knows what's out there this year, but we're hoping for a good harvest," said Link.

The boats headed out early Friday morning to set traps. The season officially opens on December 16.