It is not desirable to open crabbing seasons when a significant percentage of crabs still have soft shells following molting. Unfortunately, crabs do not molt on a fixed timetable. The problem of when to start the crabbing season is one that Oregon fishery managers have wrestled with for decades. This 1962 report outlines the problem, gives a good history of past management strategies, and offers options for fishery managers trying to protect the resource while meeting the needs of commercial fishers.
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