The commercial Dungeness crab season opens Tuesday for fishermen from Bodega Bay to Half Moon Bay, who are waiting for negotiations on a price to finish before deciding when they will go out.
There are about 35 commercial boats in Bodega Bay, which under state Fish and Game regulations can set crab pots in the ocean beginning at 6 a.m. Monday and start pulling them up after midnight Tuesday.
Fishermen are asking $2.50 a pound and are being offered $2 by buyers, said Chris Lawson, president of the Fisherman's Marketing Association.
Last year, when the harvest hit a record 19 million pounds, the season opened with fishermen receiving $1.75 a pound and closed at $4 a pound.
This year, however, fishermen are worried about the quality of the crab and the quantity, which might be about half of last year.
Commercial fisherman Tony Anello said that sport crab fishermen, who have been fishing for two weeks, are getting four crabs per pot, compared to 10 crabs last year.
The season north of Point Arena is being delayed until Dec. 15 to give crab more time to fill out with meat. It affects fishermen in Fort Bragg and Eureka.