A worker holds up a fresh crab at Murphy's Market in Trinidad, CA on Feb. 8. | Photo by Elliott Portillo

After Months of Negotiations, Crab Season is Back

Crab Season Returns in Full Effect
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It’s officially Dungeness crab season in Humboldt county. Local fishermen have been given the green light to fish for local crab on the bay after a long year of negotiations and COVID. So, what does that exactly mean? The freshest and most decadent crab is now available to Pacific coast natives. The Dungeness is long sought after by food junkies for its richness and the demand hasn’t slowed.

The season was initially delayed from it’s original Dec. 1 opening when the Department of Fish and Wildlife found that crabs in the area did not weigh enough to carry out the necessary tests for quality.

“Based on the lack of data and the interest in cooperatively managing the interstate Dungeness crab fishery, I am delaying the opening of Dungeness crab season in northern California,” DFW Director Charlton Bonham said in a press release on Nov 20, 2020.

Now that the season is up and running, local restaurants across Humboldt county are featuring fresh and local Dungeness crab on their daily menus. If you find yourself in Trinidad, there are a lot of options to choose from.

Local resident Mary Mignani is on the hunt for the best crab cakes in Humboldt with it being crab season.

“You have to find the best ones, the best restaurant offering it because crab cakes are really a hit and miss,” Mignani said. “It’s all about the crab and the way it’s prepared, cooked, seasoned, it all makes a difference.”

Trinidad Bay Eatery offers an array of crab options for dinner. They have crab sandwiches when crab is fresh, crab cakes, seafood platters, and Cioppino, an Italian seafood dish flavored with white wine sauce.

Trinidad Bay Eatery also offers crab infused breakfast items such as their crab omelet and crab benedict.

The Lighthouse Grill offers a variety of crab dishes like crab melts and crab cake sandwiches.

Rita’s Margaritas offers crab tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas with fresh Dungeness crab.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try cooking your own crab, there are plenty of options for that too. Many vendors across Humboldt are offering daily catches of fresh crab by the pound so you can try your hand at it. If you aren’t ready to cook crab on your own, many are offering their cooked crab for sale as well to add to your own homemade dishes.

If you’re interested in catching your own crab to cook, there are resources for that, too. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is showcasing tutorials on their government website on how to fish and catch Dungeness crab. Along with supplies for the catch, you will need to follow state regulations and obtain a license which you can get locally in Trinidad at Murphy’s Market.

Whether you’re craving crab on the go, planning for a nice dinner, or spending the day on the pier in search of the rich Dungeness crab, Humboldt has all the options you would need to fulfill your seafood dreams in peak season.

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