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#1061881 - 05/12/23 03:22 PM And now Green Crabs
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 4398
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

This really good reading and no mercy for WDFW.

The green crab crisis

Why can’t we harvest and sell Washington green crab to control their numbers? It worked on Dungeness Crab

Pat Neal

For The Daily World

It was another tough week in the news. The green crab crisis reared its ugly head. Native to the northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, the green crab has migrated around the world in the bilge water of ship hulls, earning the title of being among the 100 world’s worst alien invasive species.

The green crab was first observed on our Atlantic Coast in Massachusetts in 1817, where it was blamed for wiping out the soft-shell clam industry by the early 1900s.

The green crab was noticed in Willapa Bay in 1961. It was suspected to have arrived in seaweed that lobsters from the East Coast were packed in. By the late 1990s, the green crab was found from California to British Columbia.

Green crabs are trouble. They dig down 6 inches and eat 40 half-inch clams a day, which is the daily limit of clams humans are allowed.

While they can’t crack open a mature oyster, green crabs can kill the small ones while digging up the eelgrass beds that are critical habitat for our seafood — from salmon to Dungeness Crab.

In 2019, several dozen green crabs were reportedly found in Lummi Bay, in Whatcom County.

In 2022, the Lummi Nation claimed to have trapped 70,000 of them.

In January 2022, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared war on the green crab.

Step one, the state Legislature forked over almost $9 million to fund a committee to study the problem.

Step two made it illegal for people to collect or possess a green crab.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife admitted it was “counterintuitive” to not allow people to collect, remove and eat green crab on their own. They insisted people in Washington are too ignorant to tell the difference between a green crab and a Dungeness crab.

If you gather the wrong, undersized crab out of season, you’ll get a big ticket, but the WDFW doesn’t want to risk it.

Oregonians are a whole lot smarter than Washingtonians. In Oregon, it is illegal to return green crab to Oregon waters. They let you keep 35 a day. Oregon suggests cooking green crab.

In his book, “Stalking the Blue-eyed Scallop,” famed ‘60s forager Euell Gibbons declared that in their molting stage, “green crabs are delicious fried, boiled or sauteed, beating any storebought crab meat claws down.”

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The European green crab has invaded the waters of Grays Harbor. Our columnist’s solution: Let state and federal wildlife officials manage them to elimination, similar to what they have done with salmon and steelhead. COASTAL INTERPRETIVE CENTER

Green crab roe is considered gourmet. Green crab are raised on fish farms to feed the demand.

Massachusetts put a bounty on green crab and started fishing them commercially, catching 12,000 tons a year.

Thirty pounds of live green crab ended up in a Seattle market last December, where the WDFW Police confiscated them from the seller who had no idea they were illegal.

Why can’t we harvest and sell Washington green crab to control their numbers? It worked on Dungeness Crab and our other sea creatures.

Why doesn’t Washington let citizens join the war on green crab and supplement our diet with high protein seafood at the same time?

Washington state pays people to catch pike minnows, a native fish, in the Columbia River. One angler made $70,000 fishing them last year.

Fortunately, after the green crab has been here for 60 years, the Washington state co-managers are studying the problem.

The green crab’s days are numbered. Our co-managers have a proven track record of eliminating marine life with the best available science.

Just look at how they managed our steelhead and salmon from an “inexhaustible” resource into endangered species in just a few short years. We’ll thank them later if they do the right thing now.

Pat Neal is a Hoh River fishing and rafting guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Thursday. He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via patnealproductions@gmail.com.
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1061882 - 05/12/23 04:01 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
fish4brains Offline
Dah Rivah Stinkah Pink Mastah

Registered: 08/23/06
Posts: 6192
Loc: zipper
Idiotic gun laws, idiotic green crab policy, idiotic governor.
_________________________
...
Propping up an obsolete fishing industry at the expense of sound fisheries management is irresponsible. -Sg



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#1061883 - 05/12/23 04:10 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7440
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Given their track record I guess managing Green Crabs for MSY should solve the problem in a short while.

I get tired of the "Can't ID the beast" as both an excuse to kill something and as a reason not to offer harvest. Back east, at least for a while, duck hunters needed to be able to identify species at least in hand of not in flight.

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#1061884 - 05/12/23 04:26 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
20 Gage Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/15/21
Posts: 309
“ Back east, at least for a while, duck hunters needed to be able to identify species at least in hand of not in flight. “

If memory serves me, and that’s questionable these daze, they still need to ID the waterfowl before shooting. And not just back east.

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#1061885 - 05/12/23 06:00 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7440
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Back when the limit was points, with each duck different points and hens worth a lot they had to be pretty good. I know out here we need to know our ducks, but not to the extent they did.

Surprised WDG didn't just make the limit one or two and no need to ID.


Having said that, way back in the dim past Frank Haw led a study that looked at how well anglers identified fish. It was rather appalling what was called "salmon".

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#1061889 - 05/12/23 10:06 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1356
Interesting? In 30+ years of crabbing for Dungeness Crabs in PS, from the Nisqually Flats to the San Juans, including WB and GH, I think I can honestly say, I have never caught a green crab in any of my pots. If I did I would know. Am I not pot fishing correctly? The correct areas? Correct bait? Understanding the situation, I would keep every one I caught, regardless of lacking rules. Maybe they can come and go through the escape holes or frame mesh in pots, because of there small size? What's up? Do we need to change the pot frame mesh and escape dimensions rules to start harvesting?


Edited by RUNnGUN (05/12/23 10:19 PM)
_________________________
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller.
Don't let the old man in!

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#1061891 - 05/13/23 07:43 AM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7440
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
If you change mesh and escape sizes you retain, and stress, more Dungies. I think, based on where they keep being found, that they will tend to be in shallower water. Also, while they ay have been in the state since at least the 60s I think that environmental conditions have changed recently plus they may have evolved better adaptations to local water. Darwin does work.

It may also be that a high abundance of Red Rocks and Dungies and maybe some crab eating birds and fish kept a lid on them. As we remove the predators the prey flourishes.

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#1061892 - 05/13/23 07:26 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
SalishFish Offline
Alevin

Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Skagit
I’m in my second season volunteering with WA Sea Grant to monitor a specific site for EGC. We use both minnow traps and Fukui traps both with very tight mesh. We set in a shallow lagoon at Kiket island in Skagit County. We set pots monthly from April through September. Lagoon is shallow and muddy…the EGC preferred habitat. So far no green crab…mostly HEORs and HENUs.

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#1061894 - 05/13/23 10:03 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12606
J F C !
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

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#1061895 - 05/13/23 10:04 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12606
I'm killin' every GD one I encounter
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

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#1061896 - 05/14/23 09:08 AM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
20 Gage Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/15/21
Posts: 309
Ahh yes, the Green Crabs, aka the Starlings of the sea, or was that Himalayan Blackberrys?

Crab Hammers unite, the time is now, kill them all !

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#1061898 - 05/14/23 06:56 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: 20 Gage]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 4398
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
All Green Crabs Must Die!!!
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1061928 - 05/24/23 08:41 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: eyeFISH]
fp Offline
Old Duffer

Registered: 03/15/99
Posts: 2884
Loc: Hoquiam,WA.USA
Francis, Get a day that I can put one of my Shrimp pots off of 28th st. boat launch. I'm betting there will be Greens in there.

I won't do it without permission from WDFW first.

I also saw a bunch of Greenies caught in Willapa bay a few times right behind where my motorhome spot.

fp

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#1061930 - 05/25/23 07:12 AM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
ned Offline
Spawner

Registered: 06/09/07
Posts: 652
Loc: MA 5, 9, 10
[Bleeeeep!] is right!
How can Jay and wdfw keep their heads in the sand like that? The east coast has had them for 200 years, willapa for 62, Oregon Harvests 12,000 TONS a year and already has an irradication policy with the public working for free.... but WA seems to want to re-invent the wheel by wasting $9 million for studies where data must already exist. And that's just the first round.

Why can't data be gleaned from OR and other programs via zoom, and get on with it! But noooooooo.... let's study it for xx years while green crab multiply, adapt, and damage habitat and native species.

Hint: "Invasive" is never good.

Anyway, perhsps we can lead and help with the problem. Learn to ID here:
https://wsg.washington.edu/crabteam/greencrab/id/


Edited by ned (05/25/23 07:37 AM)

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#1061931 - 05/25/23 07:24 AM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7440
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Siloing. Nothing exists outside of the silos in which one works. And of WDFW's silos could withstand a direct nuclear strike.


Edited by Carcassman (05/25/23 11:44 AM)

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#1061980 - 06/03/23 09:47 PM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 3014
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
"Oregonians are a whole lot smarter than Washingtonians....."

LOLx10 - At least we are smart enough to be able to pump our own gas.

Otherwise.....I concur.
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1061981 - 06/04/23 08:04 AM Re: And now Green Crabs [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7440
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
I dunno. Their Legislature is a bigger clowns how than Washington's. And that is a very high bar.

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