Environmental Threats

Coastal Green Crab Captures Increased in 2021

January 20, 2022

Trapping throughout 2021 indicates that the European green crab invasion has grown across Washington’s coastal estuaries, namely Willapa Bay, Grays Harbor, and Makah Bay. This year’s collaborative efforts by many partners to remove crabs and track the invasion also confirmed that green crabs are more abundant and widespread in these locations than they are along inland shorelines, and will likely continue to increase.

A Collaborative Approach

2021 marked the second year of intensive and systematic trapping for European green ...

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What Does the Invasion at Lummi Mean for the Salish Sea?

December 6, 2021

The recent report by the Lummi Nation of more than 70,000 European green crabs captured this year has many wondering what this could mean for efforts to prevent green crabs from establishing in the Salish Sea. This number certainly indicates that the population of green crabs within the sea pond on the Lummi Reservation has grown exponentially since their first detection in 2019 (Mueller and Jefferson, ...

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Padilla Bay: In It For The Long Haul

August 23, 2021

August 30 of this year will mark the fifth anniversary of the first confirmed detection of invasive European green crab along the inland shorelines of Washington which occurred on San Juan Island. Three weeks later, the region will hit the same milestone for the second confirmed detection: Padilla Bay, near Mt. Vernon.

As home to a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), Padilla Bay is one of the ...

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Protocol in Focus: Is it a molt or a dead crab?

One strength of the Crab Team protocol is that it enables us to confidently compare findings among sites, and track changes over time – even if different people are doing the sampling. With sampling on this scale, even the small steps can be important to what we learn from the data. Protocol in Focus allows us to expand on these details, and offer an opportunity to see all the behind-the-scenes planning that goes into methodology.

The molt ...

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Completing the First Year of a Collaborative Removal Effort at Drayton Harbor

December 23, 2020

One of the big successes this year was the launch of a local removal effort in Drayton Harbor. In spite of COVID, in spite of wildfire smoke, in spite of everything that 2020 had to throw at us, the collaborative management team was able to make great strides in trapping the Washington’s northernmost green crab hotspot. From May through October of this year, the crew was out trapping, trapping, and … trapping, with two ...

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2020 Salish Sea Green Crab Update

November 23, 2020

Trapping for European green crab has mostly concluded for the 2020 season, enabling us to take stock of all that was accomplished this year and provide some status updates on green crab. The obstacles this year were considerable, but volunteers and managers were more than equal to the task, masking, attesting, and distancing, not to mention riding out wildfire smoke, to trap for green crabs. The next few posts will provide updates on what was accomplished and what ...

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Meet Alex Stote, Crab Team Coastal Specialist at WSG

October 12, 2020

Hello WSG Crab Team enthusiasts! Now that the whirlwind of the trapping season is winding down, I’m excited to finally introduce myself to you all as the Crab Team Coastal Specialist. I began this role in late July, and while July might feel like years ago, this is still a relatively new position to WSG. In the few months since I began, I’ve been splitting my time between the “office” (which continues to be my kitchen) and the ...

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WSG and WDFW Expand Green Crab Trapping on the Washington Coast

August 30, 2020

In 2016, when invasive European green crabs were first found on San Juan Island, media coverage left a lot of folks on Washington’s coast scratching their heads. Why the sudden concern? After all, green crabs were first detected in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor several decades ago, starting in 1998, and had mostly disappeared. Shellfish growers might see them on occasion, but they were no longer considered the looming threat perceived at the turn ...

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Launching Collaborative Green Crab Management in Drayton Harbor (part 2)

July 3, 2020

Removal of European green crab in Drayton Harbor is now underway, thanks to the collaborative efforts of WSG, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Northwest Straits Commission (NWSC) and other stakeholders. This is the second of two posts on efforts to date. Part 1 covered the development of the management team

Removal trapping of European green crabs at Drayton Harbor officially began on May 26. Since then, staff with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) ...

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Launching Collaborative Green Crab Management in Drayton Harbor (part 1)

July 2, 2020

Removal of European green crab in Drayton Harbor is now underway, thanks to the collaborative efforts of WSG, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Northwest Straits Commission (NWSC) and many other partners and stakeholders. This is the first of two posts on efforts to date.

Starting last fall, following the detection of green crabs in Drayton Harbor, in Blaine, first as molts, then in two assessment trapping efforts, WSG and WDFW began developing a collaborative ...

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A Slow Start to the 2020 Green Crab Season

May 8, 2020

Like so many other projects and programs right now, partners contributing to state-wide efforts to manage European green crabs are trying to figure out what can safely be done, in the midst of the global pandemic, to address the urgent threat of invasion. In particular, there has been concern that green crabs won’t wait until COVID-related isolation measures are lifted to continue their population growth and spread, and that we could miss a critical ...

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