Recreational crabbing OK along Lane County coast; Coquille River to California closed

Recreational crabbing

FLORENCE, Ore. - If crab is on your Christmas menu, you can go catch dinner yourself again.

The State of Oregon reopened recreational crabbing along the Lane County coast on Tuesday.

Crabbing is now open along the Oregon Coast from the north jetty of the Coquille River to the Columbia River.

The area from Tahkenitch Creek north of Winchester Bay to Cape Foulweather north of Newport had been closed due to elevated domoic acid levels.

"Recent crab samples taken from the area indicate these levels have dropped and remain below the alert level," state agencies said in a statement Tuesday. "This reopening of the recreational season applies to crab harvested in the ocean and in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers, and jetties."

Recreational crab harvesting remains closed along the southern Oregon coast to the California border.

For more information, you can call the shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the Oregon Department of Agriculture shellfish closures web page.

CRABBING | What is open? Closed?

  • Recreational crabbing – Currently open in the ocean and in all bays and estuaries that are not under the health advisory.
  • Commercial ocean crabbingDelayed in all areas until at least December 16.
  • Commercial bay crabbing – Commercial bay crabbing remains closed in all areas due to the delay in the ocean commercial Dungeness crab fishery.

Crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers, according to the state.

And regardless whether you caught it yourself or at the store, Oregon officials offer this advice:

"It is always recommended to eviscerate the crab and discard the "butter" (viscera or guts) prior to cooking. When whole crab are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. It is recommended to discard the cooking liquid, and do not use it in other dishes, such as sauces, broths, soups, stews, stocks, roux, dressings, etc. The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended."

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