There’s a bite to the air in the mornings now, a turning of seasons that brings to mind cozy gatherings and holiday feasts. And this year, unlike last, it appears there will be fresh, succulent Dungeness crab on the table as the centerpiece of the celebration.
In Bodega Bay, the fishing fleet has been readying for the Nov. 15 opener, with hopes pinned on hauling in tons of the delectable crustaceans from Thanksgiving through the new year and beyond.
That wasn’t the case last year, after an unprecedented, four-and-a-half-month delay kept boats tied at the docks, the harvest suspended over health concerns raised by a massive toxic algae bloom off California.
This year, cooler water and promising test results are buoying expectations for a bountiful haul of Dungeness in California ports.
Go to Bodega Bay and see the state’s $60 million crab fishery in action: Crab boats coming and going, stacked high with the big metal traps, or pots, used in the catch. You can buy your crab there at one of several outlets, or at your local grocer or fishmonger.
“Being in Sonoma County, we are spoiled with the best crab on the planet,” said Todd Davis, meat and seafood coordinator for Oliver’s Markets. “When our Dungeness locally is running, it’s the best out there. Nothing compares.”
If you’re really in the mood, grab an outdoor table at Spud Point Crab Co or Fisherman’s Cove. and feast on a crab-filled menu in sight of the working men and women who make it all possible.
“They’re kind of excited,” said Lorne Edwards, president of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Marketing Association.