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Author Topic: Resurgence of female crabs in Chesapeake Bay  (Read 990 times)
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crabbrgrabbr
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« on: April 19, 2017, 12:00:25 PM »

This article just popped up on The Baltimore Sun, looks like we are headed for a GREAT year! Shocked Shocked Cheesy Cool
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/environment/bs-md-crab-population-survey-20170419-story.html
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 12:24:04 PM »

hope so . wishing everyone the best season ever ,
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crabster2
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 08:48:19 AM »

Actually no. The numbers show males are down. Sad Is good news about the FM's though.
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Mr. Breeze
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 09:50:14 AM »

Actually no. The numbers show males are down. Sad Is good news about the FM's though.

and juveniles are in the crapper
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 04:03:00 PM »

It should have been expected about the male crabs. Had this dredge report showed the opposite, I'd be surprised. Happily surprised though. Small male crabs carrying large females has been mostly what I've been seeing with doublers.
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jimbo301
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 03:41:33 PM »

is it not healthier to have more females then males ?,  less competition and more offspring ? maybe not as much this year but the industry later in the season ?  Just trying to learn..
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Mikie
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2017, 03:48:17 PM »

is it not healthier to have more females then males ?,  less competition and more offspring ? maybe not as much this year but the industry later in the season ?  Just trying to learn..


The problem becomes that there aren't enough males to fertilize all of the females because of the population imbalance. Plus there is a lack of larger males which could result in the gene pool being saturated with the genes of smaller males.
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2017, 04:14:23 PM »

is it not healthier to have more females then males ?,  less competition and more offspring ? maybe not as much this year but the industry later in the season ?  Just trying to learn..
It's the time it takes to mate...  Hours if not days.  The jimmy finds a ripe sally peeler.  He grabs her and holds on.  Cradling and protecting her during the shed.  When she completes her terminal molt and is in the soft crab stage they mate.  Then the jimmy hold her and protects her until the now "sook's" shell hardens enough to protect her. He lets her go and goes looking for another lover..  Sheds happen in runs in the spring.  There are huge sheds in the spring.  Lots and lots of sallies shed within days.  If they don't have a mate, because male numbers are lower, they may not get to breed again in their lifetime...
https://www.bluecrab.info/mating.html  Click on the little crab at the bottom of any page for more info...... Smiley
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2017, 04:18:27 PM »



Been looking for info on when a male crab matures . Found this, saying 1-1 1/2 years?  Thinking bigger then 5"?  Anyone know?

Adults

In the Chesapeake Bay, sexual maturity is reached after 18 to 20 postlarval molts, at the age of 1 to 1˝ years. Males continue to molt and grow after they reach sexual maturity. It is generally accepted that females cease to molt and grow (terminal molt) when they mature and mate. However, new research suggests that mature females (sooks) will continue to molt given the right set of circumstances. Jeffery Shields of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science says that it was once believed that blue crabs experienced a terminal molt which was considered the second molt after puberty for males and the only molt after puberty for females. While this is generally the case, most portunid crabs do continue to molt. There are some caveats that apply to blue crabs:
•Molting takes energy; energy that is better used for reproductive output. Since it takes more energy to produce eggs, the theory is that mature female crabs don't grow as large or molt as frequently because of their reproductive energetics. The converse is that sperm production is cheap, so males don't put energy into reproduction, rather they put it into somatic growth.
•Molting is energy dependent. Larger animals must store far more nutrients for molting than do smaller juveniles. Thus, a really big lobster only molts every 2 to 5 to 10 years. Similarly for blue crabs, the larger the crab, the more difficult to store energy for molting.
•Molting is risky business. Larger animals may be at more risk, hence, they are not frequent in the population.

After the females mate and migrate to spawning areas, they either remain there for the rest of their lives or move only short distances out to sea. In warmer months, males generally stay in low-salinity waters such as creeks, rivers, and upper estuaries. Research on blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay indicated that females over-wintered at the mouth of the bay and spawned there in spring, whereas the migration of males was non-directional. Crabs bury themselves in mud in winter and emerge when temperatures rise in spring. The maximum age for most blue crabs in the Mid-Atlantic Region is three years; adults thus live an average of less than one year after reaching maturity.
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2017, 04:26:15 PM »

Another article on females mating and breeding. She doesn't spawn till going to the mouth of the bay in the fall?     Won't release eggs till 2-9 months after mating.

https://www.bluecrab.info/spawning.html
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