On November 24, the glad news came, by way of the Associated Press: For the first time in years, there would be a winter crab-fishing season in Washington State. Testing showed a bumper crop, fat and full-bodied, ready to be hauled from their pots on December 1!
Nearly two weeks after the Big Day, local gourmets are justified in crying out, like the old lady in 1984’s memorable Wendy’s commercial: “Where’s the crab??” Not showing up on restaurant menus, anyway; spotty to absent at the fish market, and not priced like an abundant item when it is there. What happened???
Well, nothing, really. Some readers of the AP item, their heads full of visions of crab louis, curried crab and crab risotto didn’t read all the way to the end; others, forgetting that outlets for AP’s feeds don’t always publish the whole item, have been flooding the switchboards at Anthony’s and Ray’s Boathouse, looking for something that just ain’t there.
The downbeat passage that got left unread:
“Crab could be at markets in time for Christmas this year, another first in a long time, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“It is impossible to predict very far in advance for any fishery, however. ‘We’ll see what we see when we get there,’ Ayres said.
But, he added, ‘I think we’re headed for some positive stuff ahead.’”
Uh . . . Thanks, Dan. And Merry Christmas to you, too.