High winds, choppy waters delay crab season

No one asked Mother Nature if she was ready for crab season. Crab boats remained docked today as high winds and choppy waters muddled the California coast, prompting a small craft advisory.

The unfavorable conditions comes on the heels of a Thursday announcement by state health officials that most seafood tested in waters affected by the Nov. 7 oil spill in San Francisco Bay is safe to eat and ready to be fished.

“We're feeling a bit frustrated by all this,” said Zeke Grader, spokesman for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Association. “We encounter (unfavorable) weather conditions every year, but this time it comes just as the tests come back on the crab.”

The small craft advisory could continue through Sunday and possibly into early next week, according to the National Weather Service.

“Most fisherman are holding out until Sunday,” Grader said.

He said boats could go out in this weather, but it's “tough when you're trying to throw 100-pound traps in the water and trying to retrieve them when the winds are blowing and rocking the boat.”

Bay Area fishermen voted unanimously on Nov. 10 to request a delay of local Dungeness crab season from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger because of concerns regarding nearly 60,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Bay when a container vessel knocked into a Bay Bridge tower.

Crab season was scheduled to begin Nov. 15, two days after the governor banned fishing in and around the Bay. Though the ban did not include most crab fishing areas, crab fisherman decided to hold off on fishing until health officials deemed all local seafood safe for human consumption.

“I think the crab are just about clean, we have no reason to doubt (the state's) test results,” Grader said.

Grader said there is still concern with fishing for herring. He said there could be pockets of oil at the bottom of the Bay and that fishing nets might scrape the bottom and mix oil with the fish.

But Grader said Dungeness and Rock crab should be ready to serve at local restaurants.

“Most crab were outside the oiled area and now the oil has dissipated, so we should be okay,” he said.

Crab season runs through June, but the best time for crabbing is from November to mid-January, according to officials.

— Bay City News

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Folks wave from the side of a Muni cable car as it heads down Powell Street after cable car service returns from a 16-month COVID absence on Monday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s cable cars return after 16-month absence

San Francisco’s cable cars are back, and they’re free for passengers to… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

Christina Najjar, 30, a TikTok star known online as Tinx, is one of the social media influencers tapped by the White House to help promote COVID-19 vaccines among young people. (Alyson Aliano/The New York Times)
How an ‘influencer army’ is fighting vaccine lies

By Taylor Lorenz New York Times Ellie Zeiler, 17, a TikTok creator… Continue reading

A great white shark swims off Isla Guadalupe, Mexico. The term “shark attack” is slowly disappearing, at least as a phrase used by researchers and officials who have been rethinking how to describe the moments when sharks and humans meet. (Benjamin Lowy/The New York Times)
Don’t call them ‘shark attacks,’ scientists say

By Alan Yuhas New York Times On the beaches of Northern California,… Continue reading

Vickie Gaddy, a nurse at the intensive care unit, with a 44-year-old patient who later died, at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, July 27, 2021. Doctors at the hospital say more younger people with COVID-19 are being sent to the ICU. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
New COVID surge at a California ICU: ‘When will this ever end?’

By Isadora Kosofsky and Shawn Hubler New York Times Two months ago… Continue reading

Most Read