How Much Does A Dungeness Crab Weigh?

If you are visiting Washington West Coast and amid lover of seafood, you must try out their most prized crustacean, the Dungeness crab. I am sure some specific questions like how much does a Dungeness crab weighs are roaming in your mind. 

Well, we have prepared the answer for you. If you want to know more facts about the Dungeness crab before devouring the west coast delicacy, then stay with us. The weight, in general, can be between 11/2 lbs and 3lbs.

Weigh Details Of How Much Does A Dungeness Crab 

Now we will know all about a Dungeness Crab in depth. 

Introducing Dungeness Crab

You might not be aware or don’t know about Dungeness crab, so we took the initiative of introducing the crab to you and those who know they might find something new. So without delay, let us start.

How Much Does A Dungeness Crab Weigh
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History Of the Name Dungeness 

According to some sources, the crab’s name is after a small fishing village in Washington State in the late 1880s. 

And others say that the crab’s name is after the port of Dungeness, Washington, located 5 miles north of Sequim and 15miles east of Port Angeles. 


The locations where you will find the Dungeness crab start from Alaska are the Aleutian Islands, to Point Conception near Santa Barbara, California. 

The second location where you might find them not often but occasionally is the Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico.


The upper surface of the crab starts from reddish-brown, but it gets lighter as it goes towards the back. 

Then it has an oval-shaped carapace that can reach till 25cm width side. It has four walking legs, a pair of claws light in color, and jagged teeth.


The weight depends on the growth of their shell. Within 4 to 5 years, their shell can grow to 6 and 1/2 inches; as a result, they can weigh from 2 to 3 pounds. 

Male Dungeness can grow their shell more than 10 inches, so that weight may vary, but in general, the crabs can weigh from 11/2lbs and 3lbs.


The habitant of the crabs keeps on changing throughout their life cycle. 

When they are in the larvae stage, they like to live in the open sea. When they are in a juvenile stage, they are seen in salt marsh mixed sand or gritted areas with algae or eelgrass. 

And lastly, as an adult, they are found in eelgrass beds and sandy or muddy lower regions. 

Food Choice

The food choice of the Dungeness changes according to the stage of life. When juvenile, they prefer to feed on fish, shrimp, mollusks, and crustaceans. And as adults, they like eating bivalves, crustaceans, and fish. 


Like any other sea animal, the crabs also face many threats. In case of the Dungeness variation in temperature, alteration in their habitants, pollutants such as insecticides, heavy metals, and hydrocarbons from oil spills can be threatening for them. 

The juvenile crabs are the most affected by these threats or toxicants as they are more sensitive. 

Tips on Fishing Dungeness Crab

We gathered around some tips for you that you can apply while catching the Dungeness crab.

Availability of Seasons

If you reside in northern California, you are allowed to catch the crab from December to July. 

As for South California, it starts from November to June, but the opening for fishing can be a little late, such as March, as there might be issues with toxicity levels and proper crab meat.

Crab Trap

Do you want to catch fresh and live crab? Then you can use the technique named crap trap. You need to submerge the wire traps on the seafloor to start the method. 

The traps are attached to the lines and marked with floats on the surface; this way, the traps attract the crabs with the bait and catch them alive. 

Related: How To Keep Dungeness Crab Alive After Catching

The most important thing is to have a sport-fishing license to use this technique; otherwise, you might face problems.


Usually, the Dungeness crab gets caught using pots made of two circular iron frames with spokes connected outside to ensure that only giant crabs get caught; each pot must have two entrance tunnels with bars. 

Edible Section

It is the part where we discuss the edible section of Dungeness crab. Like the way it tastes, which piece of the crab’s meat is good, and some tricks on how to cook it.


Usually, the taste of crab meat is sweet and soft, but this crab has a nutty texture.


The crab’s meat is tender in the body portion, but the leg and claw meat is a bit firm. 

The most consumed part of the crab is the claw, as the large claw muscle has a more significant portion of meat and cracks easily compared to other crabs like red rock crab.

Cookery Usage of Dungeness Crab

Usually, the crab is sold live, fresh, or frozen in the full size, so you can roast it using different spices and herbs to enhance the sweet flavor. You can also use the meat in other ways like soups, salads, etc.


Please don’t eat the viscera during the boom period as it contains domoic acid. So be careful while you are cooking; it is best to remove the viscera before or check for warnings in the packet.


  1. Why is Dungeness crab so expensive?

The crab’s shell is more extensive than other crabs, and it also has a small amount of meat. It is also considered a source of protein but with low fat and calories. 

  1. How much does a Dungeness crab cost?

The cost of a Dungeness crab is around $50 for 1.5 to 2 pounds. The price may seem very costly, but we need to keep in mind that the amount you are investing is worth it. The reason is the amount of meat you are getting from the crab is more than what you are paying.  

More crab relevant discussion you may like –

Can You Eat Dead Crabs?

Eat Land Crabs: Safe And Healthy

Jonah Crab vs Stone Crab


Finally, we hope that your question regarding how much does a Dungeness crab weighs is clear as we have stated that the weight depends on the crab’s shell. 

The more the shell grows, the more the weight increases. 

We also discussed some tips for you that you can apply while fishing the crabs.

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