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OR Dungeness Crab Pot Fishery

Current Classification on 2017 LOF

Category II
Estimated Number of Participants 433
Target Species Dungeness crab
Applicable Take Reduction Plans N/A
Observer Coverage None
Marine Mammal Species/Stocks Killed or Injured Gray whale, Eastern North Pacific;
Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA1

^ Number of participants estimates are based on state and federal fisheries permit data.  The estimated number of participants is expressed in terms of the number of active participants in the fishery, when possible.  If this information is not available, the estimated number of vessels or persons licensed for a particular fishery is provided.  If no recent information is available on the number of participants, then the number from the most recent LOF is used.  NMFS acknowledges that, in some cases, these estimations may be inflating actual effort.  

*Observer coverage levels include the latest information reported in the most current final Stock Assessment Report (SAR)

1 Indicates the stock or species is driving the classification of the fishery 

Note: Current classification based on final LOF, no proposed changes are reflected in this table.

Basis for Current Classification

The mean annual mortality and serious injury of humpback whales (CA/OR/WA stock) is greater than 1% and less than 50% of the stock’s Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level. 


This fishery operates along the coastal waters of OR in depths typically from 10–40 fathoms.  The Dungeness crab season runs from December 1–August 14, although the state may delay the opening based on the condition of the crabs. Additionally, the state may close the season after the end of May if catch rates are still high to protect molting crab.

Gear Description

The cylindrical or rectangular pots used in the fishery are fished individually by law.  A maximum of 200, 300, or 500 pots may be fished at once depending on previous landing history (due to the implementation of a three-tiered pot limitation system).


This is a limited access fishery managed by the OR Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in conjunction with the Tri-State Committee agreement for Dungeness crab, which also includes the states of CA and WA.  Logbook reporting of effort and catch data to the state is now required.


Historical Information

Original Category (Year added to the LOF) III (1996)
Original Number of Participants 1,475
Basis for Original Classification Listed as Category III because there was no observer, logbook, or stranding data available.
Past Names WA/OR/CA crab pot (until 2009)
Species/stocks historically documented as killed or injured (but not currently on the list) N/A


Timeline of Changes

  • Split from the Category III “WA/OR/CA crab pot” fishery and listed as a separate Category II fishery based on mortality and serious injury of humpback whales (WA/OR/CA).  A humpback whale was entangled in Dungeness pot gear in 2006.  This animal was photographed entangled in gear in May 2006 off the coast of Oregon and is believed to be the same animal that stranded on a beach in Oregon with marks consistent with the type of entanglement observed.  This single humpback whale interaction event translated to a mean annual mortality and serious injury of 0.2 animals/year, or 8% of the stock’s PBR (PBR=2.5).
  • This fishery has 433 participants.
  • Added the following species/stocks to the list of species/stocks incidentally killed/injured in this fishery:
    • Humpback whales (WA/OR/CA stock):  Based on a mortality event in 2006.  A superscript “1” listed after this stock to indicate that takes of this stock are driving the classification of the fishery.
    • Gray whales (Eastern North Pacific stock): Entanglements of gray whales in trap and pot gear have been reported; however, NMFS had not yet determined which specific fisheries were involved.  Gray whales were added to the list of species/stocks killed or injured in the Category III “WA/OR/CA crab pot” (from which this fishery is split) in 2005; therefore, it remained listed under this separate fishery.  Data related to interactions with gray whales and the newly categorized Category II trap and pot fisheries will be reviewed and discussed in future LOFs.
Changes on the LOF when the “OR Dungeness crab pot” fishery was included in the larger “WA/OR/CA crab pot” fishery
  • Added humpback whale (Eastern North Pacific) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery based on 14 sightings of humpback whales entangled in trap (11 cases) or pot (3 cases) gear between 2000 and 2005.  Data was insufficient to warrant elevation to Category II for the 2007 LOF, but NMFS stated its intent to monitor trap/pot interactions with large whales on the west coast and revisit classification in future LOFs, if warranted.
  • Added gray whales (Eastern North Pacific) to the list of species/stocks killed/injured in this fishery because of an interaction documented by the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program and NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement.


Updated January 14, 2017