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Author Topic: Virginia tightens up on crab harvests as season nears  (Read 10185 times)
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madcrabber1113
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« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2008, 04:23:59 PM »

Ther are in the tributaries not the open bay it is too salty,that is what they were saying.
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« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2008, 04:25:32 PM »

they still comsume alot of crabs.  Embarassed
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madcrabber1113
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« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2008, 04:27:15 PM »

Yes that was the point of the watermen that were speaking.
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« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2008, 04:28:39 PM »

probably in the rivers or creeks
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« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2008, 04:31:03 PM »

But isn't that where the feamales spawn. HuhHuh so they eat alot of the small crabs before they can get to the bay.  Embarassed
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madcrabber1113
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« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2008, 04:51:44 PM »

That was their point.
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« Reply #46 on: February 28, 2008, 04:52:55 PM »

They MATE in Brackish water but they spawn in the saltier water,on the shoals most of the time down here..Around the Inlets
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #47 on: February 28, 2008, 06:25:36 PM »

Somewhere on these pages are links that talk about life cycle. 

Anyway, female crabs in the Chesapeake Bay move down the bay to the mouth to sponge up and lay their eggs.  The larva (by one name) float out of the bay and into the coastal waters where they (to a lesser extent) mix with larva from other watersheds.  They then float back into the bay a month or two later as a second (or is it third) type of larva.  They do this floating in and out by moving vertically based on the tides.

At this point the settle out (favorite spot is underwater grasses in the shallows that took a big hit about two years ago.) and turn into little baby crab looking animals.  Shed several times and turn into big crabs. 

The last shed for a female crab the apron goes from triangle shape to a dome shape.  During this shed they get impregnated by a Jimmy crab when they double.  The big doubler run is in May with a second semi-big run in August.  If they did this in may they can sponge out and lay eggs in August/Sept. at the mouth of the bay.  If not they will bury themselves in the mud in the middle/lower bay until the spring where they will sponge out and lay eggs with the big run in June.  They will normally sponge out 3 times maybe a few more with the most fertilized eggs during the first two sponges.

Jimmy crabs will just keep shedding and getting bigger with a life span of something like 5 years if not caught first.

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genecrabman
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« Reply #48 on: February 28, 2008, 06:32:42 PM »

Sounds like you got it Tom. Wink
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #49 on: February 28, 2008, 06:42:17 PM »

In my opinion the real problem is four fold.   The second two have to do with over capitalization of the fishery.

First is ecological in nature.  You could blame development, global warming or what ever you would like but the bottom line is the underwater grass beds necessary for raising crabs have been devastated.  Add to that hypoxia, etc. and you have a problem.  I have other issues that are being investigated by some of the science guys that I know and I can bring them up depending on how they pan out.

Second, kinda 10 years ago the peeler pot fishery started taking off (more money per crab) and they issued a lot of new licenses for the fishery without reducing the licenses in the hard crab fishery.  There also used to be a hardship rule regarding entry into the fishery. 

Third, In Feb. 1999 there was a Commission meeting where the room (and hallway) were full of commercial watermen.  The first one got up and gave his speech, "Mr. Commissioners, I have this hardship I am trying to make a living and can't seem to get buy unless I can get into the crab fishery.  Could you please give me a permit."  The Commissioner's felt bad and gave him his permit.  After the first few the rest got the words down and the Commission was pretty much obligated to give out new permits to each and every one that asked out of fairness.  I would bet that a number of those guys came in just to give their buddy moral support.  That led to

Four -- a lot of license transfers, working as agents, license stacking, etc. . .  There was a freeze in 2003 to try to cut the gear down but it has been met with limited success.

So the question is:  Short of saying give us back all of the gear licenses. . . how to you fix an overcapitalized fishery?
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« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2008, 06:57:39 PM »

maybe allow no sponges to be taken. i think we have to throw over black ones now. the law changes so much.
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« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2008, 07:00:13 PM »

With Fuel prices around $3.50 per Gallon, Pots at $35.00 each I think it will all take care of it's self. All the "DABBERS" will find it hard to stay in business. It's going to be hard to make a living anymore, everyone and his brother wants to put us out of business. But the cost of operation will take the Big toll. Many of the Crabbers around Hoopers Island have quit crabbing to go pound netting in the past 5-10 years,because of the expense in crabbing. The over all catch is down, I don't dispute that, but the Crabbing effort is probably down too.I wish the guys in the bay the best of luck!
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crabbygramps
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« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2008, 07:08:53 PM »


Rules, Regs and enforcement... Complete restructuring of the licensing system No stacking, no agents etc. Quotas on harvest...Full and complete catch reports, Recs and Comms. Legitimate and accurate numbers must be kept and recorded...It is a constant harvest and needs a constant or running inventory. Start somewhere with extremely good records so that a month by month educated estimation can be set in stone..Yearly could records could cause delays in actions. Summer season tells a story, so does the winter. If one waits 12 months to see if plans and theories are working it could result in too much or too little of a specific action. With all the computers and agencies out there, please don't say "it can't be done". If it were possible to monitor the bay on each and every tide, that would help solve everything, but "THATS" impossible. To be able to monitor the "license holding" people who use the bay is more probable and possible and doable on a less than year to year basis to maintain a watchful and accurate way to help the crabs, bay and crabbers...Just thinking out loud... Tongue
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« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2008, 08:58:34 PM »

Reducing recreational crabbing first and foremost is by far the more sound economically responsible choice.  Do commercial crabbers take more crabs?  Sure they do, but does that mean that they should pay more to clean up the problem?  No, because they can't afford to.  Who can afford to?  Recreational crabbers.  Its a very basic principal.  Who cleans up pollution?  The big business that causes most of the problem?  No, its the small businesses that are more efficient at clean up efforts who make the most difference.  Thats the reasoning behind that decision and its a good one, if it goes through.  Should everyone be cut back most definitely.  Just out of curiousity anybody know how many crabs where taken out of the bay by recs. last year?  Its a mystery, but what if its 5 million pounds or more (which I think is honestly a low number considering the number of rec. lic.)?  What are those 5 million pounds worth to rec. crabbers?  Four less crab feasts a year?  But 5 million pounds to watermen would be hundreds of thousands of dollars of income.  So who can take on that burden???

ALL OF US THATS WHO
YOU GUYS WILL LOOSE 200,000 POTS AND WE WILL LOOSE JUST OVER 1000
SO IM GUESSING THAT WILL CUT THE HARVEST BY 50 % AS WELL DRIVING THE PRICE OF CRABS THROUGH THE ROOF
THIS SOUNDS LIKE OIL COMPANY LOGIC
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CRABGUY
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« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2008, 09:16:48 PM »

but what if its 5 million pounds or more (which I think is honestly a low number considering the number of rec. lic.)?  What are those 5 million pounds worth to rec. crabbers?  Four less crab feasts a year?  But 5 million pounds to watermen would be hundreds of thousands of dollars of income.  So who can take on that burden???
4 LESS FEAST A YEAR , THAT I WOULD HAVE TO BUY........FROM YOU?Huh NOT LIKELY
ALTHOUGH IM SURE YOU COMMERCIAL GUYS AND GALS  WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE BAY ALL TO YOURSELFS
ITS MINE TOO AND SO ARE THE CRABS
YOU CHOSE YOUR LIVING AND SO DID I
THE ONLY WAY TO GET A VA LICENSE IS IF SOMEONE DIES, CAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO GIVE ONE UP
THERES A WAITING LIST A MILE LONG THEN TOO
SO ITS NOT LIKE I CAN GO INTO THE CRAB BUSINESS
BUT YOU CAN REC CRAB WHENEVER YOU WANT
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 10:29:42 PM by CRABGUY » Logged

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