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February 04, 2016    Headlines

Crab Season Delayed

Crab Domoic Levels Continue to Drop / Some Ports Still Show High DA Levels
February 4th 2016
For the first time in the past month the California Department of Public Health has finally released new lab results of Dungeness crab domoic acid levels of North Coast ports.
This has been frustrating to say the least with no lab results posted for ports from Bodega Bay to Crescent City since the end of December. Weather was the main reason for the delay but why does it take 7 to 9 days to post the results after the crabs have been turned over to CDPH?
Here on 2-4 the CDPH released results from Crescent City, Eureka, Trinidad, Ft Bragg, Bodega Bay and Half Moon Bay and San Francisco. Most of these tests are from the week of January 21 to 26 but were only published in the past two days.
Some of the highlights are:
Most ports saw the average of domoic acid in all crabs tested continues to drop. Some ports tested clean while others saw up to a third still testing above the federal guideline of 30ppm.
Half Moon Bay and San Francisco both AGAIN tested clean. Off Bodega Bay results were clean off Bodega Bay and the Russian river but the Salt Point test returned two crabs just above the federal guidelines.
Fort Bragg was a problem spot and the only port where we saw the average level of DA climb with DA levels as high as 81ppm in a single crab. Results like this, where one or two samples are far higher than most is the reason that the crab season remains closed.
Eureka saw their best results yet with clean crabs found off Samoa and the Eel River.
Crescent City also had a far lower average DA levels in all tests but results showed two crabs that were just over the action level.
After the results were posted in late December I was far too optimistic calling for a February 1st opener. Considering the small numbers of crabs being tested and the fluctuating results (where we see a clean test then crabs testing above guidelines a few weeks later) I am beginning to wonder if we will see a sport or commercial season anytime soon. 

Readers can see the latest results from the CDPH  here.

Mike
 

Anglers can also get updates on the California Department of Public Health shellfish Hotline at 800 553-4133


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