ASTORIA By early January fishermen off Oregon’s coast had pulled in 7.7 million pounds of crab — a low number compared with some years, but better than hoped for following December’s massive storms, which many feared had wiped out a significant number of crab pots. “We anticipated hearing some real bad reports, but they were ready for it and placed their gear in deeper water so it ended up not getting sanded in,” says Brandon Ford, a spokesperson with the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Crab catch numbers are expected to peak this month, and undoubtedly some fishermen will be looking ahead to salmon season and wondering if their luck will hold. The 2007 ocean troll season was the second-worst on record: 463,500 pounds — a far cry from the usual yearly average of 2 million pounds.
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