Commercial Dungeness Crab Season to Open in Sonoma County

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham issued a declaration to open the commercial Dungeness crab fishery from Bodega Head, Sonoma County north to the Sonoma/Mendocino county line.

The area from the southern boundary of Bodega Head State Marine Reserve, Sonoma County (38° 18’ N. latitude) north to the Sonoma/Mendocino county line (38° 46.125’ N. latitude) was closed due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Public health agencies have determined that domoic acid no longer poses a significant risk to public health in this area.

Under recent amendments to Section 5523 of the Fish and Game Code, the CDFW Director may provide a minimum of 72-hours’ notice before a gear setting period. Therefore, the Director has declared the fishery to open at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 to be preceded by an 18-hour gear setting period that would begin no earlier than 6:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

No vessel may take crab within a delayed area during the closure period. In addition, any vessel that has landed crab from ocean waters outside of this delayed area is prohibited from taking, possessing onboard, or landing Dungeness crab in this area until Jan. 7, 2019 pursuant to Section 8279.1 of the Fish and Game Code.

The northern California commercial Dungeness crab fishery in Fish and Game Districts 6, 7, 8 and 9 (Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties) remains closed until 12:01 a.m. December 16, 2018 due to poor crab meat quality tests. If the next round of test results indicate good quality, the fishery will open and be preceded by a 64-hour gear setting period.