The Opilio crab season usually opens at the same time as the King crab season, on Oct. 15. However, most vessels wait until the beginning of January to harvest Opilio crab.
Even though Opilio season is open during the winter months, many vessels wait until January. This is mostly because the official Opilio season did not begin until January previous to crab rationalization in 2005. However, vessels may begin fishing earlier in the year if there are indications of higher than normal sea ice level. This was the case during 2013 when the crabbing season had an early start at the beginning of December.