Crab season to open Thursday
Crab fishermen at Bodega Bay have crowded the docks with heaps of crab pots as they get ready for the commercial crab season opening on Thursday Nov. 15. They will leave Wednesday to set out their pots but can’t pull them until the next day.
Last year was a record year for the fishery with 31.6 million pounds of crab caught in California, valued at $94.8 million. The previous year was also excellent 27.5 million pounds were caught in 2010, valued at $56.8 million. This year early recreational catches don’t look quite so promising.
This year negotiations between fishermen and buyers have proceeded smoothly unlike other years when the fishermen tied up their boats in protest at prices they considered too low. Buyers and fishermen are eager to deliver Dungeness crabs to the public in time for Thansgiving. Fishermen are asking $3 a pound this year at all the central coast ports from Half Moon Bay to Bodega Bay. Last year, the price when the season opened was $2.25 a pound but quickly went to $2.50. According to state Department of Fish and Game the average price for the season was $2.99 a pound.
The season in northern California doesn’t open until Dec. 1 so many fishermen from the northern ports come to Bodega Bay for the first few weeks to participate in the earlier opening.