Fresh Oregon Dungeness crab will return to menus and cold cases next month.

The commercial season opener was delayed beyond the traditional Dec. 1 start to allow crabs more time to bulk up according to officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Crabbing crews will be allowed to set gear a few days before a first-pull of crab pots on Jan. 15.

Officials had previously opened recreational bay and ocean crabbing from the Columbia River south to Cape Blanco. The stretch of ocean south of Cape Blanco continues to be closed due to the presence of domoic acid.

A recreational crabbing closure was extended several times earlier this year after crabs were testing high for the toxin which cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment.

Officials say all crab product available for purchase is safe to eat.

The Dungeness crab fishery is the most valuable single-species fishery in Oregon, ranging from $5 million to $51 million per year, according to the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission.

For more information on toxin closures, call ODA's shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page.