Posted on March 12, 2018
Sweet and meaty Dungeness crab is the quintessential crustacean of the west coast and is as good as currency in Pacific County. Anyone native to the area will tell you no crab tastes better. That’s why crab season is always one of the most exciting times of the year!
Eating Dungeness crab requires work, though. Getting to that succulent meat means pulling apart the shell, cracking open legs, and getting messy. The effort is worth it. The meat flakes apart in your fingers and melts in your mouth. A bit of butter and lemon makes this savory meal a little richer. Plus, just one crab can take up an entire dinner plate.
The sweet flavor of Dungeness crab meat can be traced back to their diet. These crabs are carnivores, and their favorite food (and perhaps yours, too) is clams. A healthy diet of those little bivalves gives Dungeness crab their sweet flavor. They also feed on mussels, scallops, small fish, other crabs, and… marine worms; an incredible smorgasbord of seafood.
The crab is named after Dungeness, WA but inhabits coastal waters from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to Point Conception in California. Dungeness crab from Willapa Bay and the Columbia-Pacific Confluence are among the finest, healthiest crab on the coast, making Pacific County seafood markets the best places to pick up fresh crab for your dinner table. Get it while crab season is still in full swing and treat yourself to one of the finest meals in the Northwest.
Want to catch your own Dungeness crab?
You can catch crab off the docks in Tokeland or at the Port of Peninsula in Nachotta along Willapa Bay as well as at the Port of Ilwaco in Baker Bay. While commercial crab season only lasts part of the year, recreational crab season is generally open year-round in Pacific County (although, the use of crab pots is limited to about Dec. 1-Sept. 15). Check the WDFW site for more info and regulations on size, limits, and other rules before you go.
If you’d like to take a boat out but don’t have your own, CoHo Charters offers crab charters in late fall and early spring.
Special Note: The North Jetty is currently closed for much-needed repairs until October 30, and you will not be able to go crabbing at this location.