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Shellfish

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), working with the Oregon ​Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), will schedule commercial crab sampling. ODA will post forecasted sampling in​formation and biotoxin test results on this page. 

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Biotoxin status and sampling in commercial crab zones

Map of commercial crab zones with biotoxin status

Crab biotoxin lab results

Letter to Processors of Dunge​ness Crab

  • The next round of crab viscera sampling is scheduled to begin on 2/18 for zones 50 - K and L. 50-K crab landed 2/21, 50-L crab landed 2/22.
  • The last round of crab viscera sampling began 2/0​4 for zones 50 - K and L. Crab from these zones landed 2/05 with all viscera results below the limit.
  • Call our samplers to provide a sample of 6 crab from zones being tested: 

Zones A through F: Jim Moore at 971-281-1318 ​or Barb Cripe at 503-508-0437

Zones G through L: Neil Jensen at 541-290-2397 or Linda White at ​503-949-3282​

  • Lifting an evisceration order in any zone with violative crab viscera requires two good sets of samples, at least one week apart. Buffer zones may only need one good set of samples. ​

Commercial Crab Status Table


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Commercial crab zones​

Crab zone area

Zone identifier​​

​OR/WA border to Cape Falcon ​50-A
​Cape Falcon to Cape Lookout ​50-B
​Cape Lookout to Cascade Head ​50-C
​Cascade Head to Cape Foulweather ​50-D
​Cape Foulweather to Waldport
​50-E
​Waldport to Heceta Head ​50-F
​Heceta Head to Tahkenitch Creek ​50-G
​Tahkenitch Creek to North Bend ​50-H
​North Bend to Bandon 50-I
​Bandon to Cape Blanco ​50-J
​Cape Blanco to Gold Beach ​50-K
​Gold Beach to OR/CA border ​50-L

Crab sampling frequently asked questions for 2023-2024

  1. ​​​​​​​How will in-season crab domoic acid be done this year? Last year changes were implemented with the goal of minimizing time between sampling and receiving results. We are keeping the same sampling method this year. During the first week of a crab sampling ODA will target Sunday through Tuesday to obtain samples. If samples are not obtained Sunday through Tuesday then ODA will allow for a 'bye' week.
  2. ​​What is the 'bye' week for sampling?  ​For the first scheduled week of sampling, ODA will have already reached out to industry members for the zone a sample is needed from the week before. If a sample cannot be obtained by Tuesday of the sampling week, industry will get a bye for the remainder of this week. ODA will not seek or accept any crab sample beyond Tuesday for that first week sampling is scheduled. ODA will begin sampling again the following Sunday and will continue to try to get samples until samples are obtained. 
  3. ​What days are best for providing crab for sampling?  Ideally, crab samples delivered to shore on Sunday or Monday and provided to ODA samplers on Monday or Tuesday should allow testing results to be provided to industry before the weekend.
  4. ​​I have crab from an area that is scheduled for sampling. Who do I contact?   Fishermen: Contact your processor first, they can contact ODA to arrange delivery of crab samples.  Processors/Buyers: Call the ODA sampler for the correct zone​. They will arrange to take delivery of the crab samples for testing. Zones A through F: call Jim Moore at 971-281-1318 or Barb Cripe at 503-508-0437. Zones G through L: call Neil Jensen at 541-290-2397 or Linda White at 503-949-3282.
  5. Should I still fish in a zone scheduled for sampling?  ​Fishermen should work with their buyers to determine what the company needs for their respective markets. Fishermen and buyers should bear in mind that it may be several days between when ODA announces a sampling week and when a sample is actually obtained. Any management action, such as an evisceration order, will date back to the sample landing date (at the earliest), NOT when a sampling week begins. ODA will never recall crab from a zone from the start of when sampling was announced. Any recall would only affect crab landed on or after the date of landing of the sample that triggered the recall. 
  6. ​How will I know when a harvest area is going to be tested?  ODA announces the next anticipated sampling week, and which harvest areas will be part of the testing, when they report the last round of sample results through text, email, and updates on the ODA website. Closer to the sampling date, ODA will send out a text or email alert as a reminder of the upcoming sampling. Industry will also receive a text or email alert once the sample has been obtained and it will list the landing date​. 

Commercial evisceration zones and orders

  • Oregon crab: 
    • Currently there are no biotoxin restrictions for commercial crab harvest. ​
  • Washington crab: 
    • ​​Currently there are no biotoxin restrictions for commercial crab harvest.

Evisceration instructions

Here are the instructions for when an evisceration and/or recall order is in effect: 

  • Verify and record all crab received for the area/zone where it was harvested and the date of harvest ​
  • Segregate and label affected crab 
  • Eviscerate (gut) crab prior to or after cooking 
  • Denature and destroy the viscera (guts) of the affected crab 
    • The viscera cannot be used, sold or given away for human or animal consumption or for use as bait.
  • If you are not approved and licensed to eviscerate the crab you must either send it to a licensed crab processor who is approved to eviscerate crab, or denature and destroy the crab. 

Commercial ODFW crab permit holders and ODA license holders are responsible for knowing the status of crab biotoxin zones. Check the ODFW website for commercial season openings and closures, license and permit requirements and commercial crabbing weekly updates. The following zone status information is regarding biotoxin results only. It does not refer to seasons, limits, or any other parameters other than biotoxin status.

Commercial crab rule

In 2017 Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife worked in partnership with the crab industry to implement rules for the commercial harvest of Dungeness crab. Safe seafood management practices are essential to protecting both the health of the industry and the health of Oregonians. This rule allows the use of evisceration (removal of the guts, lungs and lung balers, hepatopancreas and associated organs) when biotoxins are above the alert level to prevent the consumption of ​harmful algal bloom biotoxins in crab and maximize harvest while protecting human health. 


ODA has adopted the crab rule OAR 603-025-0410​ to describe the process for monitoring domoic acid in Dungeness crab and determining harvest restrictions.​​​​​​​​​
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Contact

Main Office
Food Safety
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-4720
Fax: 503-986-4729

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