Commercial crab season kicks off in Bay Area

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- Commercial crab season has begun and anticipation is high after last year's disastrous season, which was delayed several months because of a toxic acid.

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Fishermen Tuesday will be pulling their crab pots out of the ocean. Pillar Point Harbor is bustling. Crab pots are everywhere, and fishermen are just happy to be busy.

"Always just getting ready and getting all your gear out, so it's high stress and exhausting, but hoping it's going to be good," said fisherman Steve Fitz.

It's a stark contract from last year, when state officials halted the traditional start of the crab season due to harmful algae blooms along the west coast.

RELATED: San Francisco crab season kicks off today with limitations

The crab contained dangerous levels of domoic acid. Fishermen say it'll take years to recover.

"It was about a $150,000 out of my gross, and that's not the average. I'm kind of a smaller guy, a lot of these bigger boats had a lot bigger hit," said fisherman Joe Stoops.

But now that the crab has been declared safe south of Point Reyes, families can count on having fresh, local Dungeness for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a Bay Area tradition.

While there's some concern about the quantity of crab out there, there's seems to be no doubt about the quality.

"They're dense, they look large, and the few sport crab that I've seen look beautiful so that's a good sign," Fitz added.

And after last season, fishermen will take any good sign they can get.

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