A Call for Pie Bakers

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Feeling Crabby?
Trouble In the Waters

Living along the Salish Sea, we see all sorts of different crabs scuttling along the shore. From Dungeness to Red Rock, King to Decorator – the variety and array of species is incredible. However, a menace is in our midst. The European green crab is an invasive predator competing with native wildlife for food sources. It preys on oysters, mussels, clams, and other small crustaceans, altering the local ecosystem. These crabs invade an area destroying juvenile shellfish and harm nearby shellfish fisheries. Along the East Coast, steamer clams have been significantly impacted by green crab to the point of collapse.

Now, our local waters are threatened.  A European green crab was found in Bellingham Bay this past May. This is the first confirmed finding in Whatcom County. Slowly European green crab populations have been working their way up the West Coast. Green crabs were not observed in Puget Sound until 2012 when a population was discovered west of Victoria, BC. Washington Sea Grant and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife launched the Crab Team in 2015 to help fight the spread of this invasive creature.

Keep your eyes peeled for the European green crab this summer as you wander the beach. Crabbing season is coming up. Gear Up for Crabbing at our workshop on June 29th!