Species Profile

 

 

 

Snow Crab (C. opilio)

  • The Snow crab fishery began in 1961 and is now one of the most commercially important to the state.
  • Snow crabs are found throughout the North Pacific Ocean and Bering see along the continental shelf and coastal waters. Mature males typically weigh 1-4 pounds. Snow are "true" crabs with four pairs of walking legs and one pair of pincers.
  • Chionoecetes is pronounced ki-no-see-tes. Chionoecetes means snow (chio) inhabitant (ioketes), and Snow crab are often marketed under the name "snow crab."
  • Although C. opilio and C. bairdi are discreet species, they are able to crossbreed. In fact, there are specific regions in the Bering See and North Pacific Ocean that contain high numbers of Snow crab hybrids. The hybrid individuals display a mix of physical traits that are typically attributed to either of the two discreet species.