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Author Topic: His catch: 3,100 crab pots so far, and one baby stroller  (Read 21323 times)
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2009, 08:21:10 PM »

Crabslayer.

The VA program is being run by VMRC which is the regulatory agency in charge of crab pots.  The money is paid to the former crabber dredge operators by the agency.  It is illegal to have the gear in the water during that time of year.  The agency has the authority by statute to remove illegal gear from the water. 

I don't know what would happen if a private organization were to request permission to remove ghost gear. 

I have asked about removal of abandoned gear during the off season in the past and was told that there was a period of time during the closed season when it would be legal but I can't find it in any regulation or code section.  I will try to remember to pursue this a little further.  Defining such a time in regulation or code may be worth the trouble if it helps get ghost gear out of the water.  I would expect that most casual removal of gear would be for abandoned gear that still had buoys or gear that was in shallow water.

Where my personal concern is most or where I am most likely to consider moving abandoned gear is when it is in shallow water without a buoy.  Hitting an unmarked crab pot could ruin a prop or anyone's day on the water.

Tom
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ChrisS
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« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2009, 09:12:08 PM »

Mr. Powers,
Are you interested in taking on some real problems of the bay?

Just wondering if your up to the task to tackle this giant. Im pretty sure, ghost pots wont give your kids brain damage, unless your putting them in the pots.
Quote
The Brandon Shores/Wagner Complex, made up of two coal-fired power plants in Anne Arundel County, is the state's largest source of toxic chemical emissions, releasing more than 12 million pounds of chemicals into the state's air, land and water in 2000. These facilities released more than 600 pounds of toxic mercury in 1999. According to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), power plants are a primary source of mercury contamination in the state. MDE has issued statewide fish consumption advisories for small and large mouth bass and for bluegill due to high levels of mercury contamination, which can lead to developmental problems in infants and children. The Brandon Shores facility also emitted 47,500 tons of sulfur dioxide in 2000 and the Wagner facility increased its sulfur dioxide emissions by 79% between 1995 and 2000. Sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory illness and cause serious health problems for children, the elderly, and people with asthma.

http://www.earthjustice.org/news/press/005/epas_cap_and_trade_plan_for_mercury_fails_to_protect_public_health.html


...now thats scary!
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« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2009, 02:16:01 PM »

Chris,
  Good data, I would like to see something last year or current year.  I know they put new state of the art "scrubbers" in the stacks a little over a year ago.  Washington group International did the project.
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ChrisS
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« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2009, 02:44:37 PM »

Im sure its out there, I'll try and find it.

Just like the pots though, the mercury is already in our water and has no desire to go anywhere anytime soon. In fact, if some of these pots are down there as long as they claim, wouldnt it harmful to pull them and stir up unwanted sediments including this mercury and other toxins that may have been sitting buried and dormant. I know 1 or 2 pots doesnt seem like it too disasterious, but if your pulling 30,000 like some claim are down there, that could bring alot of things to the surface we may not want back up. Just thinking out loud.....sorry. I think, now Im no scientists or Biologist, that these pots provide more structure and protection for fish and crabs than they do harm to them. Since there is no grass, Im inclined to think a shedding crab would find one of these pots a welcome relief when it is at is most vunerable.
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« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2009, 10:42:06 PM »

You are right there Chris,I wouldn't be for pulling up anything that does not come uncovered on low water down here either,those pots in deeper water are just habitat now.
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« Reply #45 on: February 23, 2009, 10:16:12 PM »

Mr. Powers???.....Im just curious???   and thinking out loud, again, Im sorry.
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2009, 01:52:36 PM »

Some of this was discussed last night at the VMRC blue crab committee meeting.

First the total number to date is like 5000 pots removed.  Many break apart when they try to pull them up.  I don't know how much of a problem the mud is but it certainly can't be any worse than operating a set of clam tongs, crab dredge, conch dredge, etc. or to a lesser extent anchoring a boat up.

Second the question of ghost pots being habitat did come up the general statement from VIMS and VMRC staff was that, at least for the first year or two that they were killing machines (my words) rather than habitat in that what ever went in was most likely going to die (their words).  After a while the pots rot away enough that they get built in escape holes through which the crabs, fish, etc. can escape.  During the Terrapin talk they showed a photo of a crab pot with like 50 dead terrapins in it.

Most of the evening was spent dealing with the concept of bushel limits and what to do about agents that get multiple tickets.  On the latter the consensus was that they should face the same sanctions that a licensed commercial waterman faced which is potential loss of license (ability to work as an agent) for up to two years.  Also there was a general consensus that the owner of the permit should have some risk of loosing the permit (for up to two years) if it is miss used by the agent.

There was a discussion regarding terrapins and bycatch reduction devices which are squares of plastic that are placed over the funnels on the pots.   My guess is that it is something that will be coming to VA regulations, at least in the shallow water areas in the future.

The concept of stacking gear licenses in order to recoup the pots lost due to the 30% reduction was discussed with no conclusion.  The concept was to only allow someone that had a significant amount of effort to transfer their license to someone else in order for them to use two permits.  Currently using two permits at once is illegal unless there are two license holders on a vessel.

There was some discussion regarding the byback program but no more details were forthcoming.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 01:59:46 PM by Tom Powers » Logged
genecrabman
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« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2009, 02:07:41 PM »

I'd like to see the picture of the 50 terrapins in a pot..
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« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2009, 05:13:16 PM »

WOW they must have some really big pots or really small terapins!
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« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2009, 05:19:48 PM »

"There was a discussion regarding terrapins and bycatch reduction devices which are squares of plastic that are placed over the funnels on the pots.   My guess is that it is something that will be coming to VA regulations, at least in the shallow water areas in the future."

Speaking from personal experience I can say that the "Turtle Excluders" are a joke. Just as many turtles can get into the pot as with a normal funnel. Maybe if someone took the time to make the stock funnels bigger, the excluder MIGHT help, but I don't know anyone who would do that since it also lets the crabs out. In Maryland the only ones affected are shoreline property owners, not regular crabbers, because the terrapins are primarily in the creeks. Just another "feel good" law.
Most terrapins are killed because people don't check their pots regularly and the turtles drown.
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jack1747
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« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2009, 05:40:08 PM »

"There was a discussion regarding terrapins and bycatch reduction devices which are squares of plastic that are placed over the funnels on the pots.   My guess is that it is something that will be coming to VA regulations, at least in the shallow water areas in the future."

Speaking from personal experience I can say that the "Turtle Excluders" are a joke. Just as many turtles can get into the pot as with a normal funnel. Maybe if someone took the time to make the stock funnels bigger, the excluder MIGHT help, but I don't know anyone who would do that since it also lets the crabs out. In Maryland the only ones affected are shoreline property owners, not regular crabbers, because the terrapins are primarily in the creeks. Just another "feel good" law.
Most terrapins are killed because people don't check their pots regularly and the turtles drown.

Of course I have seen drowned ones.  Some that I have had in my pots looked dead as a door nail but they started moving around shortly after bringing them on board. 
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« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2009, 06:01:01 PM »

Of course I have seen drowned ones.  Some that I have had in my pots looked dead as a door nail but they started moving around shortly after bringing them on board. 

I usually take any that aren't moving very well and put them on the pier in the shade of a piling. I've had them sit there for 8-10 hours before they recover.
Unfortunately, the "weekend warriors" who either don't check their pots all week or who actually only come to the shore on the weekend, kill substantial numbers. Turtle excluders won't fix stupid. If you don't have time to check the pots at least daily, they shouldn't be left in the water.
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« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2009, 06:12:07 PM »

I have not had a dead Diamondback yet, in the few peeler pots that I have, but I worry about them when the weather keeps me in for a few days in the spring.
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« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2009, 06:46:53 PM »

I wasn't talking about 1-2 turtles... I have caught less than 12 in my 25 Plus years of crabbing, and they were in a shallow creek, where they lived and were saved...I've never caught more than 1 per pot, I can't believe 50 in a pot... At even 2 pounds per turtle, thats a Jag...Kinda Like



Once unpon a time...............You get my drift,

another fairy tale,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2009, 07:06:22 PM »

I sent an email asking for a copy of the presentation.  If I get it I will post the picture.  Maybe it was 40 turtles (I said like 50).  There were certainly lots

Isn't MD law such that the only folks that can use crab pots in creeks are recreational crabbers off of private piers?

If so, that is one difference between MD and VA.  Down here a lot of the commercial effort is in the shallow waters of the tributaries.  Thus such a recreational only regulation would not save that many turtles.  One of the things that was discussed last night (with no vote and no movement forward) was the eventual requirement for commercial pots in shallow waters as well as ALL recreational pots to have them.

I asked the person doing the presentation how long that they would live if unattended in water over the top of the trap and she said about 4 hours.  Thus commercial crabbers that check their pots once a day are ALMOST as bad as a recreational pot that is checked on a every few days basis.

One of the things that the scientist pointed out as a big concern is IF they ever got put on the endangered species list that it would have a major impact on crabbing.  I don't think that we are anywhere near there.

We will see where it heads.

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« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2009, 08:28:37 PM »

I sent an email asking for a copy of the presentation.  If I get it I will post the picture.  Maybe it was 40 turtles (I said like 50).  There were certainly lots

Isn't MD law such that the only folks that can use crab pots in creeks are recreational crabbers off of private piers?

If so, that is one difference between MD and VA.  Down here a lot of the commercial effort is in the shallow waters of the tributaries.  Thus such a recreational only regulation would not save that many turtles.  One of the things that was discussed last night (with no vote and no movement forward) was the eventual requirement for commercial pots in shallow waters as well as ALL recreational pots to have them.

I asked the person doing the presentation how long that they would live if unattended in water over the top of the trap and she said about 4 hours.  Thus commercial crabbers that check their pots once a day are ALMOST as bad as a recreational pot that is checked on a every few days basis.

One of the things that the scientist pointed out as a big concern is IF they ever got put on the endangered species list that it would have a major impact on crabbing.  I don't think that we are anywhere near there.

We will see where it heads.


First, the ones I have caught... There is NO WAY 40 or 50 could fit in one of my peeler pots.  Second, I had one in one of my fish tanks.  It got it's foot stuck in a power filter intake, under water.  I know it was there more than 4 hours.  It was stuck when we went to bed that night...  I saw it stuck but it just didn't register.  The next morning she looked very dead.  I though she was dead but once again, after letting her sit for awhile, she bounced back.  How could Diamondbacks live thru the winter, under the mud, if they could not hunker down?
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« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2009, 08:31:13 PM »

I really would like to have all of those crabs that those proported "Ghost Pots" catch, cause once my pots start fouling my catch goes down to ziltch until I power wash them.
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« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2009, 08:36:55 PM »

I really would like to have all of those crabs that those proported "Ghost Pots" catch, cause once my pots start fouling my catch goes down to ziltch until I power wash them.
What would you know about it pinhead...  Wink Grin  Dag that felt good...  laugh
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« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2009, 10:17:32 PM »

I sent an email asking for a copy of the presentation.  If I get it I will post the picture.  Maybe it was 40 turtles (I said like 50).  There were certainly lots


Need to deal with facts Tom.
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« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2009, 10:41:41 PM »

I'd like to see the picture of the 50 terrapins in a pot..
Something smells about that,reminds me of just before the vote for the net ban down here and a picture popped up of a dead dolphin rolled up in a "lost"gill net.Turned out the CCA had staged the entire thing to help their cause just like they used video of a University of Ga research boat dragging for sea turtles during research in TV Ad's telling voters they can stop this slaughter by voting for the net ban and I wouldn't put it past any of them to stuff as many turtles as they could in a pot and drown them.
I pulled my first pots in 1976 and like Gene have seen less than 25 of them in pots. 
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