Washington’s commercial Dungeness crab fishery will open in coastal waters Jan. 4 after a month-long delay caused by high levels of domoic acid, which can cause illness in humans, state shellfish managers announced Monday.

Fishery managers for the state Department of Fish & Wildlife approved the opening in coordination with fishery managers from Oregon and California.

Washington’s commercial fishery opening includes the waters from the mouth of the Columbia River north to Destruction Island as well as Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay. Crabbers can set their pots in this area on Jan. 1, but cannot collect crab until Jan. 4. The area north of Destruction Island will open later in coordination with tribal co-managers.

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