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Huckle Berry Blue

« on: June 16, 2005, 06:51:31 AM »

i know that Comb Hatchery is taking the initial steps into bringing the blue crab back to its remembered  glory-----i am very happy that someone is doing something ---and like everyone else i will wait and see what happens


       but maybe its also time for someone to try to raise the blue claw crab in a completely controlled environment from egg to harvest either for distribution, reintroduction or just to start the footwork for others who are interested in taking some serious steps in the preservation of  this absolutely precious creature -----all over the globe we are seeing the same results with the earth not able to withstand the pressure we put on it even down to the oxygen we breath--------we all can't do everything but each of us can do our part -----if raising these crabs can be done on a small scale then it most certainly can be done in a larger scale---can you imagine a crab hatchery that is dedicated to producing tons of great tasting, huge, blue claw crabs----is Comb's efforts to restore the bay just the beginning ?---is it time for others to take a look at raising them in a completely controlled environment ? who would be willing to take on this huge endeavor----not the girl in the office where i work --i took a live blue crab to show her and she let out a shriek and backed up a bit----i don't think she would be a good candidate---i know maybe the little kid who's mother came home and found her son laying on the floor with his shirt off and had all of his pet snails sliding to and fro on his chest and loving every minute of it -----yep this is the kinda person needed for this job--(yes you guessed it, that was me)--all i know is that i am at a point in my life where i am looking for something to do for the next 20 or 30 years or so---even if all i did for the blue crab was write this paragraph just to help stimulate thinking ----then i helped a little -----who knows maybe my little experiment with the  blue claw crab will produce some results--and maybe someone later may be able to glean information from it for their experiment---(if you want to check it out it is in "habitat" under "the southern California backyard blue claw crab experiment)--i sure do love this crab------we will see what happens in days to come--i guess if my girlfriend comes back i will have to move my ponds out of the living room and onto the patio Grin

                                       the backyard scientist
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me and the wife

« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2005, 09:01:42 PM »

Good luck and I hope it goes well. The crabs could use a little help from us since they do so much for us by tasting so good.  Grin

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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2005, 02:28:44 PM »

GOOD luck and keep us posted.


Click Here To Mount Your Crab

« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2005, 06:31:00 PM »

Raising the Blue Claw Crab in captivity is very long overdue.  I should have responded earlier.
I tried an experiment similar to yours. Part of it at least.  I wanted to find out how to reacclimatize
blue crabs to water.  There is this place in my area that sells these tiny blue crabs that they catch out in the Gulf.  And these things are tiny, hardly anything on them.  And they keep them "alive" in the refrigerator where they are in a state of hibernation.  I bought a dozen to see if I could release them
into the wild again.  My plan is to buy a dozen or a couple dozen a month and release them.  Like you
said, every little bit helps.

Well I figured that in addition to reacclimatizing the crabs, that they would also be undernourished.
So I kept them in a holding cage which I keep in the canal and fed them chicken.  I first did a test though.  I let three go directly into the canal.  One died right away.  The other died in about an hour.
And the third walked away, seemingly OK, but I don't know how long he lasted.  Of the nine in the holding cage, 5 were dead after the first day.  4 survived and were feeding normally on the chicken in the cage.  I released them after a day. I don't know what happened to them, but they seemed like they
were in decent condition.  But they could have died hours later for all I know.

The next month I went to a place across the street that kept the crabs in live holding tanks that was cleaned on a regular basis, with water being pumped in and out constantly.  They were also being fed fish.  Grouper was on the menu when I was there.  I bought a dozen from this place and then released them right away.

The first set of crabs, the ones that were kept in the refrigerator, were caught way out in the Gulf the lady said.  That probably means the salinity was relatively high.  My canal is VERY brackish so that might have had something to do with it also.  In addition, I don't think they liked going from the refrigerator to 95 degree weather.

But I am going to continue to buy a dozen to two dozen a month from the place that keeps them in live tanks, and I am going to release them.  I don't see how I am harming ANYONE by doing this.  Every little bit helps, like you said.  I feel bad for the tiny crabs that are kept in the refrigerator, and I see tons of them in there that I KNOW are dead b/c the I see the lady throw them out.  I would like to try to buy from this store, but I don't know if they are saveable?  Maybe with your method they are, but I am a lot lower budget here.
Huckle Berry Blue

« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2005, 01:52:50 AM »

Hey indra-----sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you -----you are doing something that i wish i could do------i don't know how big your canal is but since i can't really encourage you to transplant crabs from one area to another because of the possibility of disease or other parasites that may be introduced into a new area-----since that is illeagle here----they are really strict about that here---not that it is not done-----its just illegal----believe me i have already thought of introducing the blue crab here but i thought of the consequences if i got caught---------boy oh boy-----the blue crab would kill off tons of other species and blah blah blah--------go to jail and pay a fine----yikes---forget it----i will stick with my little project----anyway---if i were there and i was just going to start transplanting crabs and i was on a budget i would pick a secret little brackish water river or tributary that is not frequented often ----i would buy me a salinity water tester---(you can get them at any fish store)and i would make sure that there was at least 10ppt of dissolved salt in the water and i would begin to transplant crabs to little areas like this so i could see the difference----i would also catch them and release the in another area--but thats just what i would do

--you know what would be really cool is to try and get a job at comb hatchery doing anything just to get in-----i mean if i was there i would sleep on their doorstep every day --pick up the trash in  the parking lot ---shine shoes -clean windows--what ever til they gave me a job ---i mean they will see me every day ---- and after i got in i would learn everything i could about the blue crab everything down to the molecular structure of this magnificent creature to figure out----how ? what ?-why ? and when ? and as i was learning i would run my own experiments at home to try to grow bigger crabs without losing texture or taste-- can you imagine a breed of "SUPER BLUE CRABS" with jimmies reaching an astonishing 12" from point to point-----i know its possible----if the crab has everything it needs to grow much bigger from one molt to the other--to maximize full growth potential----if i could decipher the riddle-----and i know i could ------if i put all my energy in it-----and i was not concerned with dead lines and budgets ---yes i know i could do it---but as it is right now---i am struggling with this little pond project--relearning how the nitrogen cycle works and trying to keep these few special females sooks alive---they are all mature females and its obvious why i would want to keep them alive----anyway------i will just take it one step at a time until i balance this pond then i will add more later------

and about  transplanting species---let me tell you about ghost shrimp---these are orange to sometimes translucent white shrimp that get to about 4" in length they are the best bait around---we had really big rains this year and my shrimping hole got washed away which is where the river meets the ocean---anyway ("honey hole"---they live in  holes in the ground) so now if i want shrimp close to my house i will have to go into protected wetlands------not that i am going to do it----but somehow some vigilanti shrimp ferry needs to transplant at least 5000 shrimp into my special shrimping hole for it to be what it was before---but like i said---i am not doin it -------talk to you later----keep in touch ---Michael

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