Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blue crabs on the oyster reef

Here in Georgia we don't have seagrass beds, which in many areas is where blue crabs hide when they molt (shed their shells). After molting, soft-shell crabs are very vulnerable to predation, so having somewhere to hide for a day until their new shells harden is important. Dr. Amanda Wrona (Meadows) did a very interesting radio-tracking study here a few years ago that found that big male crabs were moving up onto the edge of the marsh surface to molt. This summer, I have seen a lot of juvenile soft crabs (like the one in this picture) hanging out in intertidal oyster reefs.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee runoff to affect Bay crabs

Here's an article from Maryland about the effect heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee have had on blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. Read the entire article here.

Muddy water may end Bay crab season

Floodwaters from Irene, Lee send debris, sediment into Chesapeake Bayfrom Susquehanna River
EASTON Bunky Chance didn't expect to see 50- to 60-foot trees floating Thursday morning past his workboat.
Nor did other local watermen expect to see a portable toilet or a wheelbarrow.
But they did, and the mess stopped their work.
"The debris was the first thing that came through and then real muddy water came behind it," said Chance, a local waterman and president of the Talbot County Watermen's Association.
"We were doing just about normal this morning and then a couple hours later that muddy water hit and shut us right down like flipping a switch. It cost me a couple hundred bucks today worth of crabs."
..Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 1:00 am
Updated: 10:22 am, Fri Sep 16, 2011.

Muddy water may end Bay crab season By KELLEY L. ALLEN Staff Writer The Star Democrat