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Author Topic: Crabs dying between pulls  (Read 10372 times)
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Jap1987
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« on: July 07, 2014, 09:54:53 PM »

I have read a lot of topics on keeping crabs alive during trips. Since I have started crabbing from my kayak I have always used a bushel basket and draped a wet towel over the basket. I would re dunk the towel between pulls to keep water dripping on them as much as possible. Never had an issue until today. Between pulls mine as well as my brothers basket had many dead crabs. We simply could not keep them alive. I have never had this happen on trips with higher heat and more crabs. Was very frustrating and pointless to keep crabbing knowing every run there would be more dead crabs.
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Seanile
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 10:20:56 PM »

Surprised to hear of the quick death of the crabs. Highly unusual for 'em to croak so soon.  

Since your in a yak, I presume they're out in the open ... only 2 things I can think of that would work against you - heat & lack of oxygen.

1) Does your towel position allow for air flow?

2) Are you using a light colored towel to keep the temperature underneath it as low as possible?


If it's practical, you might want to consider bringing some ice along to toss on 'em occasionally in the future.
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jack1747
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 10:45:23 PM »

Where are you crabbing? Huh Reason I ask is because I had more then a few dead crabs in my pots.  Then I was surprised that "all" the peelers in my float were dead this afternoon. Huh  Undecided
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Seanile
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2014, 10:53:11 PM »

The plot thickens.  Sure ain't a good sign.  Undecided

I believe he crabs mid-bay.
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2014, 12:08:36 AM »

First time this ever happened to me was this year in Chincoteague,VA. Thought it was the salty water and the heat. Basket was covered with my wet burlap but we had 2-3 crabs die within 20 mins of being out of the water. Were not light crabs either. Was strsnge :/
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2014, 06:54:32 AM »

First time this ever happened to me was this year in Chincoteague,VA. Thought it was the salty water and the heat. Basket was covered with my wet burlap but we had 2-3 crabs die within 20 mins of being out of the water. Were not light crabs either. Was strsnge :/
Hematodinium perezi....... "Bitter" Crab Disease (Dinoflagellate blood disease)
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Jap1987
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014, 09:40:46 AM »

I was crabbing near the rt90. bridge in oc, md. The day before we were behind ocean downs with same setup and longer time on the water and we had zero dead when we got home. I do use a lightly colored towel and its draped over the bushel basket with two sides exposed for air flow.
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2014, 01:02:29 PM »

I have to ask a strange question........if a crab dies in transport from dock to home elapsed time of 20 minutes....would you still steam them up and eat them?

RUNT ''13''
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2014, 01:30:49 PM »

I have to ask a strange question........if a crab dies in transport from dock to home elapsed time of 20 minutes....would you still steam them up and eat them?

RUNT ''13''

Yep.  If they came up alive, they're headed for the steamer.
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2014, 10:20:14 AM »

Hematodinium perezi....... "Bitter" Crab Disease (Dinoflagellate blood disease)
That must be what it is. Unless your bushel basket is a firepit it's not normal for crabs to die so soon.
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2014, 11:17:01 AM »

Crabs that come out of high salinity waters don't seem to live long when it's hot.......And they smell way different than crabs caught in Brackish Waters..
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 12:20:23 PM »

I was going to mention that light crabs don't survive as well as full, hard crabs but FP had hard crabs die on him.  Seems like disease mentioned by Jack and ecologists is very likely. 
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Jap1987
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2014, 05:03:49 PM »

The crabs that died were mostly our biggest ones that passed the pinch test. We tried again at the same spot this time leaving a submerged basket to store them. Never took them out of the water until we got to the car and had 5 dead out of 30 caught.
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 10:16:54 PM »

when we go crabn in chincateague va. i allways take a cooler and ice em down as soon as they are caught. i lost almost a half a bushell down there one day. learnt my lesson i allways ice my sea side crabs now. must be what jack said cuz they sure dont live very long if ya dont, and if they do croak you know they been good and cold not baken in the sun rotting. just a thought.
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 03:49:05 PM »

when we go crabn in chincateague va. i allways take a cooler and ice em down as soon as they are caught. i lost almost a half a bushell down there one day. learnt my lesson i allways ice my sea side crabs now. must be what jack said cuz they sure dont live very long if ya dont, and if they do croak you know they been good and cold not baken in the sun rotting. just a thought.

I cooked them but as usual they were mush. :/
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genecrabman
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 04:43:10 PM »

Hematodinium perezi....... "Bitter" Crab Disease (Dinoflagellate blood disease)





Back in Maryland the old timers called them "Sick Crabs", here in NC they call em "Cotton Crabs"...The meat inside of the live crab looks like it's been cooked...Here is a pic of what they look like,they usually are smaller crabs and it seems it's more in the V-apron crabs...
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2014, 05:22:15 PM »

Neat pic. Really white meat. Thanks Gene. PS How's the knee?
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genecrabman
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 05:47:25 PM »

The knee cap is still dislocated, i hope to get it fixed this winter...How are you doing?
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jack1747
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 06:09:06 PM »





Back in Maryland the old timers called them "Sick Crabs", here in NC they call em "Cotton Crabs"...The meat inside of the live crab looks like it's been cooked...Here is a pic of what they look like,they usually are smaller crabs and it seems it's more in the V-apron crabs...
Cotton crabs are different then "Bitter Crab".

"Cotton" or "Cooked" Crab Disease

The microsporidium Ameson michaelis, a parasite that invades and destroys cells, causes severe muscle disintegration that results in a condition known as "cotton" crab or "cooked" crab disease. Infected tissue appears opaque (white) while the crab is still alive. Cooked meat is cottony in texture and poorly flavored. The parasite can be transmitted via cannibalism; and since as much as 25 percent of a blue crab's diet is other blue crabs, it is surprising that the parasite is only found at low prevalences (less than one percent, Shields, pers. obs.)

 
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2014, 06:11:06 PM »

Ours didnt look like that. Just normal crabs but died. Lol
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