Dungeness Crab Commission says Oregon crab season is looking good

Dungeness Crab Commission says Oregon crab season is looking good
CHARLESTON, Ore. - While there have been reports of a weak Dungeness crab harvest off the coast of California, officials in Oregon say things are much better here, with preliminary numbers showing the season to be right on track.

Earlier this week, a report from Half Moon Bay, California stated many commercial fishermen in California, Oregon and Washington were struggling due to a weak crab harvest.

However, Nick Furman with the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission says Oregon's crab landings for the month of December are actually up.

"This year fishermen in Oregon, up to this point, have landed 7,424,000 pounds of crab. In December of '07, for the entire month of December, we landed 7,472,000, so we're right on track because the month isn't up yet," says Furman.

Locally, crabbers have already pulled in 1.7 million pounds of crab, over half a million pounds more than last year at this time.

Furman says the good weather when the season first opened has translated into good numbers.

He says now they'll have to wait and see what happens in January, but he's staying cautiously optimistic.

"The landings in January really make a difference to see how close we get to last year's harvest. I'm thinking somewhere between 10 and 12 million pounds which is still above average."

Furman says historically, Oregon crabbers will catch more in the month of December than California crabbers will in an entire season.

Last year the Oregon harvest was 12.3 million pounds, that's above the average of 10.3 million pounds.

Furman expects numbers to be close to that again this year.