BODEGA BAY — Optimism for the coming Dungeness crab season is building amid growing evidence that last year’s historic problems with toxic algae along the California coast may not be an issue again this year.

The Nov. 15 commercial season opener is still nearly six weeks out, so there are no guarantees at this point. But testing of sample crabs suggests the fishery will likely open on time, making the shellfish available for the lucrative holiday markets, according to state officials.

“We believe that the worst may be behind us,” state Sen. Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, said during a Tuesday hearing at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Fishermen and consumers, who have turned Dungeness crab into a must-have winter treat, can thank cooling ocean temperatures for the brightening forecast, officials said.

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