The Dungeness crab fishery in Oregon is managed by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) using a simple system known as the '3 S's' - Size, Sex & Season.
Size - Only mature male crabs measuring at least 6 ¼ inches across the back of the shell are harvested. Undersized male crabs are returned to the ocean to insure a healthy 'breed stock'.
Sex - ALL female crabs are released unharmed and return to the ocean floor, where they continue the mating cycle to insure healthy stocks and future harvests.
Season - The annual harvest begins each year on December 1, when the crabs are hard-shelled, full of meat and in their prime. The season closes on August 14th to minimize handling so that 'post molt', soft-shelled crabs can 'fill out' undisturbed.
This management method has served the resource well for decades and insures that the Dungeness fishery is truly sustainable.
To go crabbing on your own, just head to Netarts Bay and pick up everything you need for your adventure. You can get your license and supplies at Netarts Bay RV Campgrounds and Marina, approximately a 15 minute drive from Sandlake Country Inn
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