The Dungeness Crab is reportedly named after a fishing village in Washington State. They are found from Baja California to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and have been harvested commercially since the 1800’s. Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska produce most of the commercial Dungeness catch. There are usually two different seasons in each state, there is an inshore or bay season which produces smaller crabs and the coastal fishery which produces the larger "Ocean Run” crabs. The seasons fluctuate in each state so there is fresh crab meat available virtually year-round. Fryer Legs is the cooked meat from the top joint of the legs or the “Merus” section – the largest piece of meat in each leg (see above). Dungeness crab has a distinctive sweet flavor, and tender white meat. There is a richness coming from the level of fat in the meat, which is unique to Dungeness. Dungeness crab are caught with baited circular steel pots. The crabs must measure 6.25 inches across the carapace. Females and juvenile males are returned to the sea to insure a sustainable fishery. Since females exert most of their energy in egg production, they rarely live long enough to reach market size. The crabs are kept live on the boats in holding tanks and then brought to shore and either sold live to distributors and end-users or to processers to be turned into meat, sections and snap and eat claws.
Oregon Dungeness Crab - "From Sea To Plate"