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Dungeness crab starts arriving at Sonoma County markets

  • Hortencia Guadmara fishes two live crabs out of the tank to fill a customer order at G&G Market in Santa Rosa on Saturday. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

The season's first batch of fresh Dungeness crab reached Sonoma County supermarkets Saturday, though quantities remained small because of rough seas that have kept many commercial boats in port.

“It's a pretty limited supply for this first go-round,” said Todd Davis, the meat and seafood coordinator for Cotati-based Oliver's Markets.

But a few boats were expected to make new deliveries in Bodega Bay by late Saturday, he said, and “it should put us in pretty good shape” for shoppers Sunday.

Dungeness Crab At G&G Supermarket

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Customers at G&G Supermarket in Santa Rosa expressed pleasure Saturday after the season's first crabs arrived there in the early afternoon.

“I'm thrilled,” said Lisa Smith of Santa Rosa, who stopped by the seafood department just in case the tasty crustaceans were on hand. “Now I don't have to worry about dinner tonight.”

The commercial crab season opened here Friday, but strong winds and large ocean swells have made conditions “pretty lousy,” said Chuck Cappotto, president of the Fishermen's Marketing Association of Bodega Bay.

“It's kind of a rough start to the crab season,” Cappotto said.

Weather permitting, he expected a few more boats to depart Bodega Bay by late Saturday and most of the remaining fleet to shove off Sunday.

“The full stream of crab probably won't be in the markets until Tuesday, Monday or Tuesday,” Cappotto said.

G&G CEO Teejay Lowe said the few thousand pounds of crab delivered Saturday to his two stores represented a limited supply.

When it comes to crab, he said, “we normally measure in increments of 10,000 pounds.”

But he also expected supplies to increase in the next few days.

On Saturday G&G was selling crab, live or cooked, for $4.99 a pound.

The price at Oliver's was $5.99. The first crabs to the company's Stony Point store were expected sometime after 2 p.m. Saturday.

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