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Crab Opener

James Hogue of Roseburg tosses a crab pot into the water Wednesday at the Charleston Marina as commercial fisherman wait for word on the opening of Dungeness crab season on the Oregon Coast.

CHARLESTON — Crab fishermen on the Oregon Coast went back to work this week as season delays have pushed the start of the Dungeness crab season back a month.

Friday marked the opening of the season, but many of the fishermen have yet to make it back because of rough bar conditions in Charleston. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the bar in Charleston has been restricted to only allow commercial vessels, and vessels between 50 and 60 feet.

Pricing for crab was facilitated by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and according to local fisherman Knute Nemeth was set at $2.74 per pound this year. This year’s price is up 44 cents from last year’s season opening price. However the price is lower than the opening price of $2.89 in 2016.

In the next couple of days commercial vessels are expected to make their way into the Charleston Marina, and begin filling markets with crab.

Like previous years, delays have caused fisheries to miss the peak of their live crab season, which is usually the holiday season. Live crab yields the most profit for the fisheries, because they don’t have to package and freeze the product.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.

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