Lifestyle

Crab season officially open

Crab season opened at 7 a.m. Thursday, July 1 and will continue through Sept. 6, including Labor Day weekend.

“Fishermen should be cautious to release all soft-shell, and all female Dungeness crabs,” said Langley harbormaster Rick Brewer. “The minimum legal sizes are

6.25 inches for Dungeness and 5 inches for Red Rock crab. A catch record card is required for the Dungeness variety.”

Dungeness crabs molt about 12 times by age two, and then approximately once a year through age 6. A soft-shell crab will yield less than 20 percent of its weight in meat while a prime hard-shell crab will yield 25 percent of its weight in meat. Harvesting crab when they are hard-shell maximizes the yield for a given number of crab.

“More significant, however, is that the meat from a soft-shell crab is of very low quality compared to meat from a hard shell crab,” Brewer explained. “People have described this meat as watery, mushy, lacking in texture or even ‘jelly-like’ and as a result it is often thrown away. Carefully releasing these soft-shell crabs eliminates this waste and allows the crab to be harvested later, when meat quality is improved.”

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