Domoic acid levels in crab tested from Gold Beach to the California-Oregon border are still too high to allow fishing, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday.
That zone will remain closed, as well as the one north of it — from Gold Beach to Cape Blanco — to serve as a buffer area even though crab in that area tested below allowable limits.
Additionally, the agency delayed the crab season until Dec. 31, citing low-weight yields in the crustacean along many parts of the coast.
Testing will continue to determine if the season should open Dec. 31, be further delayed, or be split into two areas with different opening dates. In conjunction with the delayed ocean commercial season, commercial harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon bays is now closed for the remainder of the year.
Commercial Dungeness crab is Oregon’s most valuable fishery, the agency said. Last year’s season opening was also delayed, but still brought in the highest value ever, at $74 million, with 23.1 million pounds landed, about 31 percent above the 10-year average.