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Author Topic: Check out what is happening in Virginia  (Read 1440 times)
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jack1747
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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2018, 09:01:38 PM »



 So Clayton Justis is a liar or doesn't fit your narrative here?   Because he actually pulled ghost pots.  

When Virginia closed its winter dredge fishery in 2008, waterman Clay Justis turned his attention from catching crabs that season to collecting the gear that captures them

But the so-called “ghost pots” are a special concern because the wire mesh cages with openings to draw crabs in but not let them out can continue to catch — and kill — crabs and fish for years. They are taking a bite out of both the crab populations and the wallets of watermen. More often than not, Justis noted, the derelict pots he pulled up had something in them. “You’ve got fish, you’ve got crabs, and you’ve got ducks. All kinds of things,” he said. But, he added, “most of the time, they are dead.”
He's protecting the only winter income he has.  Wink  Ya think a waterman thats getting 3 grand to fish up ghost pots is going to say, "this is a waste of tax money.  Im not finding a thing."  First winter they did this I sat on my front deck and watched them with my spyglasses.  The boats would fish up a pot and crush it right away.  They were not shaking anything out of them.  Cool
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 10:01:37 PM »

 Strange that the articles I posted tell a different story then some posters.  The comment below is not true according to the watermen and Domenech.

 "waste of time and money.  Crabs will stop going in the pot way before the panel falls out.  They'll find their way out of the pot before they die waiting for a panel to rot."

 This not true either, 3 different watermen were actually pulling ghost pots. Three different boats.

 "fake news.

the people that actually pulled ghost pots say otherwise to you saying otherwise "

 As for Jack with his spyglass, no doubt he was watching, but did he see only them pulling pots and crushing them. It's possible the animals in the pot were not seen at the distance.  Saying the watermen lied is interesting because of the money. That would set a precedent that many watermen would not like. I happen to know some watermen and find them very honest.
 I'm still finding it hard to believe that those involved with the ghost pot recovery program would lie.
 I'm a tin foil hat  kind of guy , but those quoted in the articles say basically the same thing.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 10:12:13 PM by evinrude 130 » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2018, 10:06:16 PM »

Strange that the articles I posted tell a different story then some posters.
I can only tell ya what I see, first hand, from the seat of my pants...  Make your own choice who to believe.
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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2018, 10:13:42 PM »

I can only tell ya what I see, first hand, from the seat of my pants...  Make your own choice who to believe.



 Thanks Jack.  I already posted above.

 I'll add that the findings were a by product of the ghost pot program.  Those Captains earned their money pulling up the pots.  To me , it wasn't a waste of money.  Would like to see these pictures, they would tell us more.

 Here's another article.
'Ghost Pot' program benefits Bay and watermen
 Side-scan sonar unit
Side-scan sonar unit  A survey vessel with the type of side-scan sonar "fish" (yellow torpedo-like object) used to detect derelict crab pots.  
Side-scan sonar image
Side-scan sonar image  The type of image returned by side-scan sonar. Three derelict crab pots are visible to the left. The vertical stripes mark the path of the survey vessel.  
Watermen at work
Watermen at work  Local watermen retrieve a derelict crab pot from Chesapeake Bay.  
Trapped crabs
Trapped crabs  A trio of common spider crabs (Libinia emarginata) trapped within a derelict or "ghost" crab pot pulled from the York River.  
Derelict crab pot abundance
Derelict crab pot abundance  A survey conducted by VIMS in 2006-07 showed that there were more than 600 derelict crab pots in the mouth of the York River alone -- a density of about 20 pots per square kilometer.  
Derelict crab pot removal
Derelict crab pot removal  Watermen removed 8,643 derelict crab pots from Chesapeake Bay in 2009. "Abandoned" refers to pots that retain a buoy but remain in the water off-season. "Grappled" pots are completely submerged with no surface buoy and were detected using side-scan sonar imaging.  
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by John Bull |  May 12, 2009
Virginia's one-of-a-kind program to remove derelict crab traps from Chesapeake Bay is yielding important scientific data that will improve next year's effort to recover these "ghost pots" and further reduce their inadvertent trapping of Bay wildlife.

The program, funded by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and implemented by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), paid out-of-work crab dredgers last winter to use side-imaging sonar units to detect and retrieve abandoned crab pots and other marine debris that litter the bottom of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Watermen were paid $300 a day, and were compensated for their fuel costs.

VIMS scientists, who set up the program and supervised the participating watermen, have analyzed the results of the program's accomplishments in its first of three years. Their findings show that:

More than 8,600 crab pots were recovered, along with 61 abandoned nets and other debris, including a baby stroller.
Many of the pots had been derelict for several years, and continue to inadvertently trap and kill a variety of wildlife. One fully functioning crab pot contained large native oysters that are estimated to be several years old. The environmental impact of new, longer-lasting vinyl crab pots also was identified as a concern.
The recovered crab pots were found to have captured over the winter more wildlife than anticipated, almost 5,000 animals, including crabs, fish, eels, turtles, a duck, and a muskrat. Scientists determined that each functional crab pot can capture and kill about 50 crabs a year.
 The 58 watermen who participated in the program covered 1,524 square miles, roughly 376,000 acres, but could not reach thousands of pots that are suspected to be in shallow water. The program will be adjusted next year to include more shallow-draft boats that can reach these pots.
"The watermen were a pleasure to work with and showed a real eagerness to help clean up the Bay," said VIMS project leader Dr. Kirk Havens.

This is the only large-scale program of its kind in the country that seeks out and removes unmarked, submerged, derelict crab pots using side-imaging equipment. Other states routinely sweep for buoyed crab pots that are swept from their original location in storms, but do not target submerged, unbuoyed pots.

Ongoing research at VIMS funded through NOAA's Marine Debris Program suggests roughly 20 percent of all the crab pots set in a year are lost due to storms or boat propellers that accidentally cut the pots free from their buoys.

"I'm very pleased with the success of this program and the excellent scientific findings that will help us improve this program and guide potential future regulations to help us better protect our natural resources,'' said VMRC Commissioner Steven G. Bowman.

VMRC put up $1.3 million to get the program started last December, and VIMS handled the daily operation and supervision of the participating watermen. The program ran through March, ending just before the opening of the 2009 crab season.

Federal funds will be used to pay for the program in the next two years, through money made available in the wake of a blue crab fishery disaster proclaimed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In the meantime, VMRC will continue its stock-rebuilding efforts that have so far have paid handsome dividends. A 34 percent cut in the female crab harvest last year doubled the number of spawning-age female blue crabs currently in the Bay, according to a highly accurate, scientific crab population assessment conducted by VIMS over the winter.

All the recovered marine debris was photographed and disposed of in a safe and environmentally conscious manner.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 10:25:41 PM by evinrude 130 » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2018, 07:50:33 AM »

I attended all the ghost pot hearings here in Maryland.

Among them, the NOAA presentation on the numbers of Ghost pots supposedly abandoned in Maryland's part of the bay. I still have their hand outs some where.

I participated in Maryland's clean up of the ghost pots. I worked with my boat, in a supposedly heavy abandoned area. 4 days and I pulled up 3 complete pots. A lot  was the of pieces of rotted pots but only 3 whole pots.
The other boats working in the same area found the same situation.







« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 09:36:24 AM by Steve » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2018, 09:21:39 AM »

Ghost pots are a problem in NJ’s bays. 

Over a thousand have been recovered in NJ’s coastal bays since the NOAA partnered with Stockton University, Rutgers University  and the Jacques Cousteau Center to remove and recycle them back in 2015.

It’s been a worthwhile effort.
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2018, 09:52:33 AM »

Ok, this thread is starting to turn into a pissing match (I have since cleaned it up).

Before things spiral out of control with the attacks and name-calling, I urge everyone to read the updated terms & conditions of the forum.

See section #2: Rules of Conduct
https://www.bluecrab.info/forum/index.php?topic=10115.msg770926#msg770926

Oh heck, I'll just post them here.

Terms and Conditions updated to include the following language:

2. Rules of Conduct

BLUECRAB.INFO strives to be a friendly place and encourages camaraderie, discussion, and spirited debate. Everyone is expected to act in a courteous and respectful manner. While disagreements are sure to arise, please exercise restraint and civility when responding to such posts. Profanity, name-calling, personal attacks, rudeness, etc., will not be tolerated here. Personal attacks are defined as (but not limited to): abusive, defamatory, or derogatory phrases based on race, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious or political beliefs, disabilities, ethnicity, nationality, etc., directed against another member or a group of members; using someone's affiliations as an ad hominem means of dismissing or discrediting their views (an example could be "you're not from Maryland, so what would you know about crabbing?"); linking to external attacks, harassment, or other material, for the purpose of attacking another member; comparing members to Nazis, dictators, or other infamous persons; accusations about personal behavior that lack evidence (serious accusations require serious evidence); and threats of any kind (both online and offline). Violators will have their posting privileges revoked.  
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 11:10:38 AM by Steve » Logged
evinrude 130
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2018, 10:52:46 AM »

Ghost pots are a problem in NJ’s bays. 

Over a thousand have been recovered in NJ’s coastal bays since the NOAA partnered with Stockton University, Rutgers University  and the Jacques Cousteau Center to remove and recycle them back in 2015.

It’s been a worthwhile effort.



I totally agree based on what I've read about it.  I've lost fishing gear while bottom bouncing and a ghost pot could have been the reason.  I've actually pulled up a pot once using 50 LB mono made that happen.  No float, I just brought it in with me. But most times I just pull on the line until it breaks.
 With the advancement of sonar for boaters, it's now easier to distinguish what on the bottom. Shame the money ran out, it was a win/win for the watermen in the winter.
 The numbers the articles use are staggering, especially the amount of crabs killed. Even if you cut their estimate in half, it's still a lot of crabs.  As for lost or abandoned pots, that adds up to a lot of lost money for watermen too.
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2018, 11:33:59 AM »

I'm still finding it hard to believe that those involved with the ghost pot recovery program would lie.
 I'm a tin foil hat  kind of guy , but those quoted in the articles say basically the same thing.

I worked on crab pot boats for a couple of summers in my youth, and I agree with points on both sides.  Fouled pots don't catch, but that doesn't mean they never catch.  A few or a few dozen a year is still possible, and removing trash from the bays is a good idea either way.  However, I can tell you that on Tilghman Island, 40 years ago, I never met a single waterman that wouldn't lie to the government to protect his income, even the ones that were otherwise good people.
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« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2018, 01:19:23 PM »

This part of a article from the Dailey Press  from yesterday. 



A newer notion about crabs — that the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences has found a way to help them escape from abandoned pots — had less luck this week, though.

State Sen. Monty Mason, D-Williamsburg, has been talking enthusiastically for months about VIMS’ research on biodegradable panels for crab pots. The idea is to keep the thousands of ghost pots dotting the bottom of the bay from trapping so many crabs, which die there because they can’t escape.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission cuts crab season, scales back bushel limits
“They’re basically competing with watermen,” Mason told his fellow senators. A few years back, a $4.2 million effort to scoop up the abandoned pots netted nearly 35,000, which trapped an estimated 3 million crabs a year, Mason said later.

“When one of those drop, it is harvesting and fishing till the end of time,” Mason said. The cost to watermen in terms of crabs not caught and crabs not reproducing amounts to millions of dollars a year.

But neither the watermen, who flooded senators with phone calls opposing the measure, nor most of the Senate itself were convinced.

At $1.50 a panel, times two, times installing them twice a year, times several hundred pots, Mason’s proposal to require two biodegradable panels on all crab pots by 2020 would pose a significant financial burden on watermen, said state Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach.

State Sen. Lynwood Lewis, D-Accomack, said the first tests of the new panels were limited and produced only mixed results.

Mason said he’s going to keep trying to make the economic case. He’s already talked to Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler about reviving a ghost pot recovery effort, and plans to ask the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to push for more testing of the panels.

Eventually, he thinks he can make a case that will convince watermen along the lines of: “Look, we’ll help out by spending money to recover these ghost pots but we need you to help us, too, by using these panels,” he said.

Virginia inches closer toward opening blue crab winter dredge fishery
Legislative involvement with the nitty gritty of fisheries management is a bit of a specialty in Virginia — most other state legislatures don’t get into the weeds with seafood issues, said Chris Moore, senior scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

And while the new approach of biodegradable crab pot panels is exciting, and while easing up on hard crabs in crab scrapes could in theory run the risk that too many crabs will be taken that way, Moore said the cautious approach the General Assembly took in those issues is pretty typical.

“It’s always kind of tweaking things,” Moore said. “These types of changes are about trying to maintain fisheries that are sustainable economically and ecologically as well.”
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« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2018, 01:19:59 PM »

I attended all the ghost pot hearings here in Maryland.

Among them, the NOAA presentation on the numbers of Ghost pots supposedly abandoned in Maryland's part of the bay. I still have their hand outs some where.

I participated in Maryland's clean up of the ghost pots. I worked with my boat, in a supposedly heavy abandoned area. 4 days and I pulled up 3 complete pots. A lot  was the of pieces of rotted pots but only 3 whole pots.
The other boats working in the same area found the same situation.








I actually believe the partial pots are what they are referring in their reasoning, and why they want the whole pots taken out if possible. How long does it take for a pot to disintegrate into a partial pots, and how many crabs and fish died while waiting for that pot to rot. Every partial pot was at one time a ghost pot that may have contained live creatures. So add up the ghost pots and the partial pots and that is the actual number you found. I am not saying their solution is the right or wrong way to correct their problem, but I understand why they are concerned with these abandoned "death row" contraptions.
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« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2018, 02:12:43 PM »

I actually believe the partial pots are what they are referring in their reasoning, and why they want the whole pots taken out if possible. How long does it take for a pot to disintegrate into a partial pots, and how many crabs and fish died while waiting for that pot to rot. Every partial pot was at one time a ghost pot that may have contained live creatures. So add up the ghost pots and the partial pots and that is the actual number you found. I am not saying their solution is the right or wrong way to correct their problem, but I understand why they are concerned with these abandoned "death row" contraptions.



 Checkout this article from VIMS. Hope the pics are there, it shows growth on ghost pots with dead crabs in the pots . I also called VIMS and talked with someone named David, who told me they took over 30, 000 pics of pots recovered. Hoping he sends me some of those pictures that show what they found in the pots.  

http://www.vims.edu/features/research/derelict-blue-crab-traps.php
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« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2018, 03:56:12 PM »



I totally agree based on what I've read about it.  I've lost fishing gear while bottom bouncing and a ghost pot could have been the reason.  I've actually pulled up a pot once using 50 LB mono made that happen.  No float, I just brought it in with me. But most times I just pull on the line until it breaks.
 With the advancement of sonar for boaters, it's now easier to distinguish what on the bottom. Shame the money ran out, it was a win/win for the watermen in the winter.
 The numbers the articles use are staggering, especially the amount of crabs killed. Even if you cut their estimate in half, it's still a lot of crabs.  As for lost or abandoned pots, that adds up to a lot of lost money for watermen too.

Odd.   NOAA just released another grant for NJ's coastal waters that JCNER picked up...
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« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2018, 04:18:00 PM »

Odd.   NOAA just released another grant for NJ's coastal waters that JCNER picked up...



 Ron,  Virginia used Disaster Relief Funding till it ran out.Congress approved $10 million for Virginia in 2009 after declaring that declining crab stocks in the Bay and strict rules intended to reverse the trend had created a national fishery disaster - the first such declaration in state history.

In response, Virginia and Maryland, which also received $10 million, bought back hundreds of licenses from crabbers in hopes of relieving fishing pressures on declining populations so they can recover.

Both states also launched trash-collection programs targeting ghost pots, and both hired affected watermen to do the labor, equipping their boats with side-imaging sonar devices to help find underwater garbage.

This article actually tells how the VIMS saw the pots and decided to use watermen in the winter to recover them. There are also some pics , hope they show up.
   "But the pots weren’t empty, “and that’s the headline,” said Kirk Havens, a biologist at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. In the middle of winter, the pots were loaded with bycatch, almost all of it dead—not just crabs but striped bass, perch, catfish, even drowned muskrats and diving ducks."

Crabbers Find Pots of Money in Abandoned Fishing Gear
Researchers say a program that paid fishers to retrieve tens of thousands of lost cages resulted in a higher crab catch while reducing the number of fish accidentally caught.

A boat filled with recovered crab pots. (Photo: CCRM/VIMS)

JAN 29, 2016· 3 MIN READ Richard Conniff is the author of House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth and other books.
Bio
 
Chesapeake Bay crabbers took it hard in 2008 when the blue crab industry was officially declared a commercial failure. Blue crabs are to the Chesapeake what lobsters are to Maine—not just a major contributor to the economy but also the object of a venerable culture, based on crab pots in warmer weather and dredging in winter.

Faced with the decline of this iconic industry, Virginia opted to shut down the winter crab harvest in its waters. Scientific studies had shown that it dredged up a disproportionately large number of reproductive females, meaning fewer crabs to catch in future years. The crabbers were skeptical, at best, when the state offered to put them back to work during the winter retrieving derelict and abandoned crab pots. Pulling up empty crab pots in winter is nobody’s idea of a good time.
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But the pots weren’t empty, “and that’s the headline,” said Kirk Havens, a biologist at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. In the middle of winter, the pots were loaded with bycatch, almost all of it dead—not just crabs but striped bass, perch, catfish, even drowned muskrats and diving ducks.

That got crabbers, who had considered lost pots irrelevant to the fishery, thinking differently. It also led to a new study in the journal Scientific Reports projecting that a program to recover as little as 10 percent of derelict crab and lobster pots worldwide could increase crustacean landings by almost 300,000 metric tons, worth $831 million annually, in addition to the benefit to other wildlife.

(Photo: CCRM/VIMS)
The idea for the program arose when Havens and coauthor Donna Bilkovic, a VIMS marine ecologist, were mapping the bay bottom with the help of side-scan sonar. “We kept seeing these weird rectangular shapes,” Havens said. They turned out, on closer inspection, to be abandoned crab pots. A lot of them. Chesapeake Bay crabbers put out up to 800,000 pots every year and routinely lose 20 percent of them to storms, boat propellers, and other causes. Because the pots are metal, they can last and continue “ghost fishing” for years, with the bodies of their victims serving as a form of continual “self-baiting” for other victims.

RELATED
 
The Unseen Slaughter Under the Sea
Federal disaster-relief funding for the fishery meant a chance to see if stopping or at least reducing this bycatch could make a difference, Havens said. Beginning in 2008, the recovery program put 70 crabbers to work searching along a systematic grid for lost pots. Havens and his colleagues had toyed with some sort of grappling device to recover the pots. “But the watermen looked at that and said, ‘Hmm, we’ll just do something else,’ ” he said. Instead, they put bent nails through rope at one-foot intervals and snagged a total of 34,408 derelict crab pots over six years.

Removing the traps cost $4.2 million total. But according to the study in Scientific Reports, it resulted in a 27 percent increase in catch—roughly one extra crab in every working pot—for an economic benefit of $21.3 million over what would have happened had the abandoned pots remained in place.

“People will argue about the amount,” said Chris Moore, Virginia senior scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, who was not involved in the study. But “one of the great things about this study is that it attempts to commoditize what our losses are from this derelict fishing gear. We generally talk about these kinds of programs as doing good work, but we seldom get to quantify how they contribute dollars to the economy. This study starts to put the question in cost-benefit terms.”

The recovery program has ended in Virginia because disaster-relief funding ran out. But this study obliges the state to ask whether “we should start putting money toward these programs so we will reap the benefit of a greater fishery later on,” Moore said. The same question ought to be debated elsewhere, from Maine with its lobsters to Southeast India and its crabs, according to Havens and his coauthors.

Both the local and global benefit estimates in the study are based on the goal of recovering 10 percent of derelict pots. But what about the 90 percent of lost pots that would remain on the bottom? Researchers at VIMS have also tested a biodegradable escape hatch suitable for any pot now in use. It costs about $1 per pot and uses PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates), a family of naturally occurring biopolyesters, which marine bacteria break down over the course of a year. After that, any crab or lobster pot still on the bottom would be harmless.

Will crabbers take up the escape-hatch idea? It’s too soon to say, according to Havens, but he says he is seeing changes in attitude about derelict pots.

This past summer, “I saw a crabber with a load of derelict traps in his truck, and I asked him about it. He said, ‘Oh, some of my buddies were throwing them in the water. But I’m taking them to the dump.’ That wouldn’t have happened in the past,” Havens said.
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« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2018, 04:58:59 PM »

For $21.3 million, you could just re-stock the bay with bushels of crabs. This would give people more to catch with the same amount of money being spent, whereas retrieving old pots won't, because the crabs trapped in those are probably already dead. And imagine how many more crabs will come from the re-stocked females. This would be r_ventura's dream come true. LOL.
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« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2018, 07:34:33 PM »

For $21.3 million, you could just re-stock the bay with bushels of crabs. This would give people more to catch with the same amount of money being spent, whereas retrieving old pots won't, because the crabs trapped in those are probably already dead. And imagine how many more crabs will come from the re-stocked females. This would be r_ventura's dream come true. LOL.




 How do you restock crabs?  Are you saying just pay the watermen to not crab and let the crabs stay in the water ?
 Here 's a quote from one of the articles posted. It's interesting to me because it's related to ghost pots that were removed.  


"The study was not able to directly estimate the economic impact of the lost pots on catches. But conversely, it found that crab catches increased in areas of Maryland and Virginia where derelict pots were removed by watermen like Justis, when compared with areas where pots were not removed.
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« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2018, 08:02:43 PM »

Md had ghost pot retrieval programs in 2 consecutive years.  I participated in both.  The first year I worked outside the mouth of the Patapsco, the second outside of the Magothy.  As I recall, I pulled up a total of 5 "whole" pots, about 25 rebars and untold numbers of pieces of wire.  I put whole in quotes because while you could tell they were pots, only one was of capable of holding crabs.  I caught more golf balls than crabs as I pulled up 5 golf balls and only one crab over a two year endeavor.
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« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2018, 04:52:23 PM »

Md had ghost pot retrieval programs in 2 consecutive years.  I participated in both.  The first year I worked outside the mouth of the Patapsco, the second outside of the Magothy.  As I recall, I pulled up a total of 5 "whole" pots, about 25 rebars and untold numbers of pieces of wire.  I put whole in quotes because while you could tell they were pots, only one was of capable of holding crabs.  I caught more golf balls than crabs as I pulled up 5 golf balls and only one crab over a two year endeavor.




They do have a golf course on Gibson Island, LOL. Won't surprise me , I've saw a guy hitting balls on the point once.

 "I caught more golf balls than crabs as I pulled up 5 golf balls and only one crab over a two year endeavor."
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« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2018, 05:36:28 PM »

Did you catch them on chicken necks or clams? How deep & what was the water temp?
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