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Author Topic: small and female crabs  (Read 1968 times)
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jamie642
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« on: July 17, 2020, 12:53:41 PM »

Third season crabbing.  With help from people here, feel good about trot line setup, setting and running the line, etc..  Just trying to learn more now with each trip I take.  Yesterday I crabbed in an area just south of the bay bridge where I managed to catch a couple dozen keepers in three hours with 600 ft of necks...not bad.  My question is this...I probably caught a thousand females and short crabs along the way.  Does this signal anything?  I just thought it meant there is a good crab population, but am wondering if it means the bigger crabs are near by but in cooler water, warmer water, different bottom, etc..  The water was 8th deep and 79 degrees.  Thanks!! 
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rdbeard
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 06:58:06 AM »

IMHO most of the larger males have moved north to seek waters that are less salty. Males prefer water with a 3 to 15 ppm ratio, hard to find with the lack of rain.
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indoe
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 10:59:29 AM »

I don't really understand that large males go away from the females. The number 1 thing for most animals is to reproduce. Unless immature females like the same water. I guess it keeps the large males from eating the baby crabs.
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WayneW
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 09:24:01 AM »

I don't really understand that large males go away from the females. The number 1 thing for most animals is to reproduce. Unless immature females like the same water. I guess it keeps the large males from eating the baby crabs.

I was thinking the same thing when I caught 3 dozen sponges once day and no males.  Apparently crabs are not into long term commitments.
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ralphrepo
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2021, 04:53:26 AM »

I was thinking the same thing when I caught 3 dozen sponges once day and no males.  Apparently crabs are not into long term commitments.

My understanding has always been that females who are about to go through a terminal molt (last molt of their life) will seek out males by going up river into less salty waters where the males usually hide. After they double up, molt and get impregnated by the male, the female is usually sheltered by the male for a short time, allowing her new shell to harden. Once this happens the male will release her and she heads out to saltier waters to release her clutch of eggs. Thus, if you're finding lots of females and hardly any males, then you need to go up river to less salty waters.
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indoe
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2021, 09:33:27 AM »

Female crabs do not stop molting after they mate. They mate when they change from a Sally too a sook. Immature female to mature female. They also spawn many batches of eggs. They only mate 1 time but hold the sperm and fertilize her eggs multiple times. I have caught female crabs around 6.5 inches. Most females mate at around 4 inches. It takes a few molts to get from a 4 inch crab to 6.5 inch crab. I very much doubt anyone has seen a 6 inch Immature female crab.
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2021, 09:33:09 PM »

Female crabs do not stop molting after they mate. They mate when they change from a Sally too a sook. Immature female to mature female. They also spawn many batches of eggs. They only mate 1 time but hold the sperm and fertilize her eggs multiple times. I have caught female crabs around 6.5 inches. Most females mate at around 4 inches. It takes a few molts to get from a 4 inch crab to 6.5 inch crab. I very much doubt anyone has seen a 6 inch Immature female crab.

According to BCI's own resource page: "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..." So I guess it can happen either way.

SOURCE: https://www.bluecrab.info/lifecycle.html
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Mikie
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2021, 03:52:16 PM »

I've seen plenty of immature females in the 6" size range, it's not unusual at all. I've also steamed plenty of mature females that had a new shell forming inside. How many of them would have actually shed again, who knows?
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jack1747
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2021, 04:49:53 PM »

I've seen plenty of immature females in the 6" size range, it's not unusual at all. I've also steamed plenty of mature females that had a new shell forming inside. How many of them would have actually shed again, who knows?
https://www.bluecrab.info/forum/index.php?topic=39119.msg360487#msg360487
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Mikie
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2021, 07:21:33 PM »

Hey Jack, a couple of questions for you. When you put that crab in your aquarium was it an immature female or a mature female? If it was a mature female, do you know if it had mated before you put it in there? It would be interesting to know these answers. If it was immature when you caught it, and hadn't mated, that could explain why a mature female would shed again. If you took it out of a pot while, or shortly after, the male was mating with her it would just create more questions.
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jack1747
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2021, 07:49:30 PM »

Hey Jack, a couple of questions for you. When you put that crab in your aquarium was it an immature female or a mature female? If it was a mature female, do you know if it had mated before you put it in there? It would be interesting to know these answers. If it was immature when you caught it, and hadn't mated, that could explain why a mature female would shed again. If you took it out of a pot while, or shortly after, the male was mating with her it would just create more questions.
It was about a 1 inch crab from a mini pot.  Never was with a male.
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2021, 11:16:01 AM »

It was about a 1 inch crab from a mini pot.  Never was with a male.

That could be one theory why mature females attempt to shed again, perhaps they didn't mate during the terminal molt and it's nature's way of getting a second chance.
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jack1747
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2021, 11:20:20 AM »

That could be one theory why mature females attempt to shed again, perhaps they didn't mate during the terminal molt and it's nature's way of getting a second chance.
I believe that.
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)

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