Commercial Rock Crab Fishery Closure Extended

dfwPress release from the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham, under new authority granted this year, has acted to extend the emergency commercial rock crab fishery closure that was due to expire on May 16.

State health agencies determined last fall that rock crabs north of Pigeon Point (37° 11’ N. lat.) to the Oregon border had unhealthy levels of domoic acid and recommended a commercial fishery closure. Subsequently, Director Bonham submitted an emergency rulemaking to close the commercial rock crab fishery north of Pigeon Point. The recreational fishery for rock crab remained open statewide with a warning from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to recreational anglers to avoid consuming the viscera of rock crab caught in the closure area. Following the recommendation of state health agencies, the CDFW Director announced on February 10, 2017 that the open area of the commercial rock crab fishery had been extended northward to Bodega Bay, Sonoma County (38° 18′ N. Lat.).

Bonham’s decision today extends the emergency commercial rock crab fishery closure that was due to expire on May 16. CDFW is continuing to work closely with state health agencies to monitor levels of domoic acid in rock crabs and other species not affected by this closure. This closure shall remain in effect until the Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), in consultation with the Director of CDPH, determines that domoic acid levels no longer pose a significant risk to public health and recommends the fishery be open. CDFW will continue to coordinate with CDPH and OEHHA to test domoic acid levels in crab along the coast to determine when the fishery can safely be opened.

Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by a naturally occurring marine alga, whose levels can be increased under certain ocean conditions.



  • wow, lets close salmon season for good, sweet talk the fishermen they can travel 25 miles one way to bottom fish at the Cape or fish in limited depth water off the coast, and now domoic acid crabs in the winter/spring time? wtf fish and game crazies-do you eat wacko mushrooms to get to these monumental decisions? Can’t eat the clams, mussels, crabs, salmon-what about the sea lions? Yeh-let’s start hook and lining those big bastards and have a feast. The Eskimos do it, why not us too?

  • Domoic acid (DA) is a kainic acid analog neurotoxin that causes amnesic shellfish poisoning. It is produced by algae and accumulates in shellfish, sardines, and anchovies. When sea lions, otters, cetaceans, humans etc., then eat contaminated animals, poisoning may result. Exposure to the biotoxin affects the brain, causing seizures, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, short term memory loss, motor weakness, seizures, profuse respiratory secretions, cardiac arrhythmias, coma and possibly death.

    Thank you Fish & Wildlife folks for monitoring this and issuing warnings and closures when necessary.

    “Red tide” also known as red algae bloom seen off Shelter Cove yesterday, May 15, 2017.

  • What is RDA for Dominic acid?

    • Studies have shown that there are no symptomatic effects in humans at levels of 0.5 mg/kg of body weight. In the 1987 domoic acid poisoning on Prince Edward Island concentrations ranging from 0.31–1.28 mg/kg of muscle tissue were noted in people that became ill (three of whom died). Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been calculated based on cases such as the one on Prince Edward island. The exact LD50 for humans is unknown; for mice the LD50 is 3.6 mg/kg.

      (.31 to 1.28 kg equals about .66 to 2.75 pounds.)

      New research has found that domoic acid is a heat-resistant and very stable toxin, which can damage kidneys at concentrations that are 100 times lower than what causes neurological effects.

  • We should be able to fish every last salmon out there! most fishermen say FW dot know what they are talking about .But the fishing out of Humboldt bay has been almost non exsistance two years ago the charter boats killed small salmon day after day for three mouths last year the only fish caught were around the jetty
    Should we leave a fish for seed?
    same thing happened in the 1997 drought they close salmon fishing and brought the numbers back up .now we are facing a worse drought.
    should we catch every last one?

  • Fish and game SHOULD be watching out for chemicals that are running from pot grows. You can’t swim in the eel river or let your dogs swim in it? Where’s all the ENVIROMENTALISTS? They close down a family motorcycle track for an owl but let pot growers put chemicals and toxins in the water . I grew up in Humboldt and I smoke pot but humboldt needs to start caring about their county. I tried to move back but between no jobs ,housing and all the bums,; the Avenue of the giant is dying state parks closing now this? I wanted to spend the rest of my life there but my kids have nothing to do can’t get jobs cant afford to own a home cause everything is overpriced schools run down start taxing the grow supplies, grow permits stop letting only rich pot growers come to humboldt use all the resorces then leave when they’ve made their money . Let humboldt grow with more businesses and affordable housing, get rid of the bums did the Avenue of the Giants stop moving landmarks like one log house be moved now phillipsville loses a lot of business c

  • >”You can’t swim in the eel river or let your dogs swim in it? ”

    Eel River… was doomed in low rainfall years when Mendo created Lake Mendocino. Eel water goes to fill lake Mendo, Russian river, vineyards, and fancy homes down there.

    If we return to ‘normal’ rainfall (60″ or more). You may see the Eel river come back, or if take Pillsbury dam out of the mix… but… IMHO: big $$$ won’t let that happen.

    >”I wanted to spend the rest of my life there but my kids have nothing to do can’t get jobs…”

    Well, welcome to the end of the timber industry, and the end of fisheries too.
    When pot growing moves to the central valley… that is end of big pot $$ here too.

    In the end, only thing keeping Humboldt county er… ‘afloat’ is government money… and money from retired folks. In the long run, you may see Humboldt county population go back to ‘Trinity County’ levels. (Translation: Not may people around.)

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