SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 15: A dock worker unloads freshly caught crab on the first day of dungeness crab season November 15, 2006 in San Francisco, California. Dungeness crab season officially began today after crab fisherman agreed with processors on a catch price of $1.85 per pound. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
It's 80 degrees, the hot winds are blowing hard through the canyons ... and that means only one thing: crab season. OK, not the usual run-up to the deluge of Dungeness crabs, we agree.
It's also not a typical start to crab season in the Bay area. The North Bay area opens December 1, but closer to San Francisco, the crabs usually come on November 15. But not this year.
Testing must continue because the crabs don't seem to have fully formed and filled-out yet.
It's a confused beginning to the season, but nothing can go forward until the California Department of Fish and Game says so on November 20.
However, despite the stutter-start to the season, signs are that the Dungeness crab volume may be quite bountiful for area gastronomes and claw-crackers.
According to insidebayarea.com, the numbers show an uptick: "In the 2008-2009 season, fishermen caught 6.2 million pounds of crab in California, worth about $14.7 million. Last season, the volume soared to 16.8 million pounds and brought in $33 million."
So, it's hurry-up-and-wait, for now. Don't worry, that drawn butter will keep in the fridge just fine.