The commercial and recreational crabbing season will open Dec. 31 along most of the Oregon coast.

The season normally opens Dec. 1 but was delayed this year because crab did not meet minimum pre-season quality testing, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

Fisheries managers decided to open the coast from the mouth of the Columbia River to south just north of Gold Beach on Dec. 15 to both recreational and commercial crabbing.

Commercial crabbers are allowed to set their gear three days before the season opens, so ocean watchers will see the lights of crab boats off most of the coast as early as Friday, Dec. 28.

The closed portion of the coast will open to sport and commercial harvest beginning Jan. 15.

The recreational harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon’s bays and estuaries is open year round.

The pre-season testing measures the percentage of meat in the crab, by weight. Fishery managers can delay the season to allow the crab to fill with meat and ensure a high-quality product to consumers.