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Disappointing Catch Marks Start of Long-Delayed Commercial Dungeness Crab Season

BODEGA BAY (KPIX) -- The commercial Dungeness crab season has been open for two days but, so far, the catch isn't quite what Bay Area fishermen had hoped for.

Crab boats are returning to harbor with the first catch of the season. In San Francisco they were offloading in the pre-dawn hours and, although the crabs themselves look good, skipper Tony Anello, from Bodega Bay, said the the haul is not great.

"Two to four crabs a trap if we're lucky," Anello said. "The best trap I did see was five crabs. Normally, in the opener, you'd get anywhere from 10 to 25 crabs. Per trap."

Offshore weather is not helping. Dense fog and large swells make managing trap lines difficult. This year's wholesale price of $2.75 is also much lower than last year.

Anello, who owns Spud Point Crab Company, has some advice for crab lovers: get 'em while you can.

"If you find them, you'd better buy them -- no matter the price."


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