Green Crab Monitoring

Crab Team Welcomes Project Assistant and Postdoctoral Fellow

Header Photo: Beautiful early morning field day at Dakota Creek, Drayton Harbor. Crab Team and WDFW staff check a trap. Photo: Leah Robison

October 18, 2022

Hello Washington Sea Grant Crab Team enthusiasts!

I’m very excited to introduce myself as the new Crab Team Early Detection Project Assistant. I’ll be here through the end of the year to help develop a new early detection program aiming to complement your stellar monitoring efforts with a less intensive and ...

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Environmental DNA (Part 4): The Vashon Island Mystery

September 26, 2022

This is the fourth and final in a series of posts on a Crab Team project to develop environmental DNA (eDNA) for use in early detection and management of European green crab. Links to the previous posts are found in the text below.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently gained attention as a potential early detection and monitoring tool for green crab, thanks in part to work done by Abby Keller ...

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Crab Team Welcomes Student Assistant

Header Photo: My first time working in mud flats at Fidalgo Bay which involved a mix of getting stuck and lots of fun! Photo: Emily Grason

September 20, 2022

Hello Crab Team enthusiasts! I am excited to introduce myself to you all as the new Crab Team student assistant. These past few months, I have been doing lots of data entry and am so impressed with this team’s work. I have also had the pleasure of ...

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Protocol in Focus: Where does the data go?

August 17, 2022

This year marks Crab Team’s eighth monitoring season, a fact that completely blows our minds. Some of the Crab Team sites have been systematically sampled since we kicked off in August 2015. As this long term ecological dataset grows even longer, it becomes increasingly valuable to look at changes over space and time. 

Lest you start to imagine us swimming in our vault of datasheets like Scrooge McDuck Read More

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Monitors Capture Their First in Green Crab in Chuckanut Bay

August 9, 2022

Crab Team volunteer monitors have been working in Chuckanut Bay since 2017, and just last month they pulled up their first live green crab during monthly sampling. The crab was a larger (77mm) older female, indicating she’d been present at the site for at least three or four years.

In 2019, three green crabs were captured by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in assessment trapping. Since that time, no further live captures have been made, including in ...

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In the Nick of time? An early detection and rapid assessment in Hood Canal

June 8, 2022

The amazing volunteers who make up Washington Sea Grant’s Crab Team have done it again, detecting a basketful of green crabs before they became a truckload. Part of what makes this event particularly significant is that it’s in Hood Canal, a basin of the Salish Sea where green crabs had not previously been detected. 

From Detection to Response

During their regular monthly monitoring in May, the team at Nick’s Lagoon near Seabeck caught ...

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Crab Team at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

May 31, 2022

The second all-virtual Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (April 26-28) offered everyone with an interest or involvement in the inland waters shared by Washington and British Columbia the chance to connect over a huge range of topics, impacts of last summer’s heat dome, southern resident killer whale status, environmental justice, and of course, our favorite topic – European green crabs. There was a lot on the conference schedule related to green crab, and we wanted to share snapshots ...

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Community Science Volunteers Discover Invasive European Green Crab in Hood Canal
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Environmental DNA (Part 2): A Cautionary Carp Tale

March 3, 2022

This is the second in a series of posts sharing new research on the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in detection of green crabs. For our introduction to eDNA, check out the previous post.

As a detection tool, the process of sampling eDNA is relatively simple, but interpreting results can actually be more complicated than you might expect. While the laboratory process and equipment might tell you – within some window of tolerance – whether green crab DNA ...

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Environmental DNA (Part 1): Green Crab Monitoring 2.0?

February 24, 2022

Early detection is one of the best ways to thwart an invasive species, but trying to find some of the first individuals to arrive in a new habitat is no easy task. WSG Crab Team built a monitoring network to meet this challenge: by using multiple search methods and finely tuning the search protocols for green crabs, we hope to be able to uncover evidence of green crabs even while they are still extremely rare. Early detection successes ...

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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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