The recreational crabbing season is scheduled to open today on the Northern California Coast, despite a closure due to high levels of domoic acid in Southern Oregon. The crabbing opening comes along with a health advisory to discard the viscera or guts, where domoic acid is most concentrated in the crustaceans. Meanwhile, local rivers have been on the rise late this week, and with more rain in the forecast, levels should remain at good fishing levels throughout next week.

Ocean fishing

Bottomfishing has remained solid in Northern Califorina this week whenever anglers have had a chance to get out of the harbor, but the big news is the crab season, which is scheduled to open today south of the state border.

The recreational crabbing season is scheduled to run from Nov. 4 until July 30, 2018.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officially closed all crabbing on the southern Oregon coast from Coos Bay south to the California border last week due to elevated levels of domoic acid.

In California, commercial rock crabbing is closed north of Bodega Bay and sportcrabbers have been advised to discard the guts and visera of the crab, where most of the domoic acid resides, before consuming. A similar health advisory is expected to be issued along with the start of the dungeness season.

For up to date information on crabbing, call the Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line at 831-649-2883.

River fishing

Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said it has been a slow week of fishing on the Chetco River with the stream running fairly low and clear, but there are lots of fish in the river already. With river levels on the rise late in the week, along with more rain coming, Martin guessed that fishing pressure on the Chetco River will likely be high through the weekend, especially with the bobber-fishing restriction being lifted from the river starting today.

Meanwhile, the Smith River was also running low early in the week, but flows nearly doubled on Friday alone, with the river breaking 1,000 cfs by the afternoon. The river rise allowed the low-flow closure to be lifted on the Smith River Friday morning, and it will likely remain open through next week.

To check on the status of the Smith River, call the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s low-flow closure hotline at 707-822-3164.

Fishing contacts: Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing at 206-388-8988; Englund Marine Supply Company at 464-32306; Jim Mitchell of Gotcha Hooked Fish Trips at 464-8482.

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.

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