Where are Dungeness Crab Caught
Dungeness crab is one of the most sustainable and highly regulated fisheries in the world. With a catch area ranging from the Central Coast of California, beginning just south of San Francisco, all the way up the coast, covering nearly all of the coastal waters of Oregon and Washington state, as well as throughout the Puget Sound, the Coastal waters of Canada and even in Southeast Alaska.
Washington State offers many areas for both recreational and commercial fishing along its coasts and inside the Puget sound itself. Below is a map from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
As you can see, Washington offers a plethora of options for Dungeness Crab, one of the strongest and most important fisheries for the state.
Oregon also has many areas as shown by this map that was cited in "Genetic connectivity of Dungeness Crab (Cancer Magister) across oceanographic regimes" by O'Malley, Corbett, Beacham, and Roegner.
Alaska is famous for its rich and wild landscape and vast coastlines. Dungeness Crab can be caught all along the coast. Picture provided by Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Seasonality of the different areas can vary based on molting cycles of the species. Production is extremely heavy beginning late December and through January in the coastal waters of the US. The regulations of this coastal fishery are monitored by state Fish and Wildlife offices and require the crabs to reach certain benchmarks in their molting process prior to opening the fishery. Coming out of the molting process, crabs will begin to build strength and meat, as well as harden their newly grown shells. Extensive testing done by biologists in the Fish and Wildlife departments is done to ensure the crabs are far enough removed from the molting process that they are optimal for fishing.
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Written by Nick Mareno & Matt Wei