The Bay Area’s Commercial Dungeness crab trap fishing season will officially begin before the end of the year, officials announced last week.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced Wednesday that recreational Dungeness crab trap fishing will resume Dec. 29.

Fisherman will be able to place their pots into the water beginning 8 a.m. on Dec. 26.

“Partner surveys, recommendations from the Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group and other data informs the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham.

“All fishing zones will soon be open and we should all be thankful to everyone who participated in this large collaborative effort that works to use the best available science to manage an important California fishery.”

The announcement of the start of commercial crab fishing comes after the season has been delayed for more than a month.

The official start of the season covers Fishing Zone 3 — between Pigeon Point to the south and the border between Sonoma and Mendocino counties in the north.

CDFW also announced that the commercial fishery 40-fathom depth restrictions will be lifted in Fishing Zone 4 beginning at 8 a.m. on Dec. 26.

Courtesy: California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“The presence of humpback whales within zones 3 and 4 has continued to decline, lowering the risk of entanglements,” said a press release by CDFW.

“Based on data collected during the most recent risk assessment, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director has determined that risk of entanglement has declined, and it is time to provide fishing opportunity in all fishing zones.”

CDFW data indicates whales remain in Zone 3, particularly in waters off Pigeon Point between 50 and 100 fathoms.

As a result, Director Bonham is also continuing a Fleet Advisory for all fishing zones and reminds both the commercial and recreational fisheries to implement best practices.