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Author Topic: Lower Shrewsbury River: Too Many Commercial Pots? What can we do?  (Read 206 times)
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Crab-E-Patty
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Posts: 5
Location: Shrewsbury




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« on: May 06, 2022, 07:01:23 PM »

New to the forum - I was out testing the water for early fluke in the Shrewsbury River the other day and I could not believe the sheer number of commercial crab pots that have invaded this waterway.  I looked up the regs and I have a problem with this so I thought I would check in with other crabbers to get some opinions.

Apparently, in NJ a commercial license allows for up to 400 pots (400!!!!!).  Well, in this relatively small water known as the lower Shrewsbury River, I have been crabbing here all my life and have never seen so many pots as I did the other day.  I started counting and there was well over 100 just in the area I was fishing.  I can't even imagine allowing 400.  And that's ONE commercial crabber!  The buoys were marked with number 625 and I'm sure this waterman is following the regulations BUT... this is going to absolutely KILL the recreational crab population in this small ecosystem.

It's only May 3 and this commercial crabber is spread out all over the river with pots wherever you look.  I'm just picturing EVERY DAY bushels and bushels and bushels of crabs leaving my local waters and going off to who knows where??? for sale.

This is ONE commercial guy.  I also know of ANOTHER commercial guy who has been crabbing this river system for several years and is out there every day doing the same thing.  So my question to this group or anyone who cares to listen - - - Shouldn't there be a regulation that restricts the amount of commercial crabbing pressure on a particular body of water based on factors like: size, sustainability, recreational use, etc.?

The easiest approach may be to politely ask these commercial guys to move to another (larger) body of water for their business.  I'm not sure how that will go over but I expect not so well.  What else can the recreational crabbers do?  I go out with my kids and family and friends and we thoroughly enjoy having this wonderful resource that we live near - in the summertime for food and fun and activity.  We have build a family culture around it.  And now I am watching our little waterway get overrun by the commercial crabbing industry.  It makes me sick because I know this small waterway can absolutely NOT sustain this amount of crabbing pressure.  It will kill it for sure - and then the commercial guys will simply 'move on' to the next productive area - leaving this system dead and in recovery mode for years and years.

I don't want to see that happen and I see the SIGNS right now.  Tell me if there is anything I can do.  I don't want to cut off some guys way of making an honest living - but I want to protect my home waters and keep the crab population thriving for my kids and grandkids to enjoy.

I don't know anything about legislation, or the legal aspect - nor do I have the desire, ability or connections to contact any local govenmental officials on this matter.  I wish I did but I don't.  And to mix a local issue like this up in a legislative manner would take years, lots of money I don't have, and an inordinate amount of time away from work and family to 'maybe' get anything accomplished.

Suggestions??  And has anyone else seen this on the Shrewsbury River system this season?  Thanks guys.

Patty
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