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Author Topic: Megalops #2 - The Mid-Season Report  (Read 341 times)
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BlueChip
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« on: September 02, 2021, 12:56:05 PM »

Megalops #2 – The Mid-Season Report
The Search for Megalops
“You Don’t Need to Be a Scientist to Report”
The 2021 Blue Crab Season
View All Megalops Reports on The Blue Crab Forum TM
Northeast Crabbing Resources Thread
August 30, 2021
The Sound School, New Haven, Connecticut


Blue crabbers had a good spring start although catches were modest, 2 to 4 crabs per hour.  They were the rusty crabs packed with meat.  By mid-June, catches increased in the saline areas 4 to 6 crabs per hour but mostly in deeper waters out of reach for most handliners.  In July just as the crabbing really started to pick up, the rains came from several low-pressure systems (between June 1, 2021 and mid-July 12.5 inches).  This freshwater tends to push male crabs out into the more salty regions.  The upper river handling continues to be very slow.

Rainfall in northern Connecticut has been excessive – Stafford, for instance, since June 1st, has obtained almost 28 inches of rain.  The watershed of the Connecticut River is soaked and the familiar tannin brown tint to the river water is now common.  High levels of freshwater no doubt have decreased salinity in several productive blue crab spots.  Tropical storm Henri drenched the state again just as a late July shed was finishing up. This changed the ratio of white belly to rusty crabs in many areas.

As water temperature rose, western Connecticut reports included “pole crabs”, (those that at night during the oxygen minimum between midnight and 4:00 a.m. come off the bottom) and cling to poles, docks or at the marsh edges.  Some larger pole crab reports mention what has been consistent all year to date-- is that there are many small blue crabs 3 to 4 inches in size, so I was hoping for two sheds this summer (See Megalops Report #1, posted April 26, 2021, Blue Crab Forum™- Northeast Crabbing Resources thread).

There appears to be a second shed underway currently (August 30th).  Recent observations at Clinton Harbor showed pole crabs, and also along the docks at The Sound School here in New Haven, and also reported pole crabs at Branford and Milford.  These events happen when water temperatures go over 75oF.  After a cool spring, the temperatures quickly warmed after an intense four-day heat wave at the end of June.  Some July and August measurements are detailed below: (Thanks to Jaylene and Steve.)

   The Sound School    July 11, 2021       75F    Jaylene Disla
   Branford         July 19, 2021       72F    Steve Joseph
   Essex Town Dock   July 24, 2021       79F    Tim Visel
   The Sound School   August 3, 2021     75F    Jaylene Disla
   The Sound School   August 27, 2021   81F    Jaylene Disla
   Essex Town Dock   August 30, 2021   78F    Tim Visel
   Clinton Dock      August 30, 2021   80F       (Indian River)

In general, the areas that get good saltwater tidal exchange or coastal areas where salinities are higher have been the best crabbing.  All blue crab observations are important.  E-mail me at [email protected].

Thank you and see you at the docks.

Blue Chip - 
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