The crew of the Brookings-based Little Joe motor in to the Port of Brookings Harbor Sunday, perhaps with a hold full of fresh crab. Photo by Grant Fraley
The glowing white and orange lights of commercial fishing boats bobbing offshore are a sure sign that Dungeness crab season off the Southern Oregon Coast is in full swing.
Since Sunday, the boats and their crews are coming and going at all hours of the day and night, delivering fresh crab to buyers at the docks at the Port of Brookings Harbor. Most of the crab is boxed up, loaded on big rigs and transported to distant processing plants. Locally, those who love to eat crab can find fresh offerings at local restaurants and fish markets, and from individual fisherman who are selling it straight off the docks.
Crab season officially began on Dec. 1, but commercial fishermen and buyers had agreed not to harvest the crustaceans until Sunday, giving the crab a little more time to fill out. The season continues through summer, however, the bulk of crab is caught in December and January.