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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Attention: Recreational Blue Crabbers!
Update on NJ's Blue Crab Research and Data Collection Programs


January, 2006
Over the last year and half the NJ Marine Fisheries Administration has started a number of research and data collection programs aimed at gaining information on the recreational blue crab fishery throughout the state - information that has not been collected in more than 30 years.

In 2005, the NJ Division of Science, Research and Technology funded a Marine Fisheries Administration proposal to study and estimate the monthly fishing effort and harvest by the different gear types in the recreational blue crab fishery within Delaware Bay. The survey design was similar to that of the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey consisting of telephone and intercept (field) interviews.

For this survey alone, there were 800 field interviews conducted from May - October throughout Delaware Bay which collected information on the number, size and sex of crabs harvested (over 4,000 individual crabs were measured) and over 2,250 telephone surveys were conducted within the 3 counties (Cape May, Cumberland and Salem) that boarder the bay which provided information on the number of trips taken by recreational crabbers. The results of the 2005 study in Delaware Bay will be finalized in early 2006. Look to the Fish and Wildlife website for updates and results.

Marine Fisheries Administration submitted a proposal for 2006 to continue sampling the recreational blue crab fishery - this time focusing on the southern coastal bays (from Cape May Point north to Little Egg Harbor) and the associated counties. If you are out enjoying a day recreational crabbing this season and are approached by a trained, professional interviewer, PLEASE take a few minutes out of your day crabbing to answer a few questions. Your time and information are very valuable and important and we would appreciate your help and cooperation.

In 2005, the NJ Marine Fisheries Administration also started a voluntary survey of the recreational blue crab pot fishery. This survey is similar to the Striped Bass Volunteer Angler survey and is used to help gain information on the number of trips taken, fishing location, number of crabs caught and kept and other miscellaneous information. Recreational crabbers who obtain a non-commercial crab pot license are asked to fill out the log after each trip with the appropriate information and then send in the forms at the end of the season to the Nacote Creek Research Station.

The program will continue in 2006 in order to gain more information on this increasingly popular activity. You can find more information about blue crabs in the article, Blue Claws: Crabbing in New Jersey; the reporting form can be downloaded from www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/crabrptform.pdf (pdf, 10kb) - please take the time to fill out and send in the forms. The Division thanks you for providing this valuable information.
 

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Great post Nightstrikes, but what about crabbers like me who handline in the small creeks. I catch my share of crabs but I dont use pots. Do I still report??

RyanF
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ryan,
You know after looking at the Crab Pot Report I am sure you could add your handline information
and it would be just as valuable to their research.Just note that is the type of crabbing you are doing...

Good Luck This Year, I enjoy crabbing myself but just don't do it that much anymore, maybe this year..

[ 01-18-2006, 03:22 PM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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hopefully they consider all the data given to them. i didn't send mine in cause then they could tell us that we're over harvesting if we're constantly catching our limit and for those who only catch a few they can say that the population of the crab is not up to par and everyone that crabbed in 05 knows it was one of the best years.
 

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Nightstrikes, when I got my license in 2005 I never got a log but I sure would love to put my info in and send it back. I do a lot of crabbing like RyanF and also use small hand traps. This info should be very helpful in determining the health of the blue crab in the back bays.
 

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Originally posted by Kyle:
hopefully they consider all the data given to them. i didn't send mine in cause then they could tell us that we're over harvesting if we're constantly catching our limit and for those who only catch a few they can say that the population of the crab is not up to par and everyone that crabbed in 05 knows it was one of the best years.
everyone had the same fears w/ the striped bass logs. :rolleyes: they could tell you over harvesting is occurring regardless of whether or not you sent the log. the managers are going to make an assessment, its their job. Would you rather the assessment be based on fact or a bunch of assumptions?

if you enjoy crabbing, and crabbing was good in 2005, then you want the powers that be to make informed decisions to ensure it stays that way, no? The more actual, accurate info we give these guys, the better they can do their job.
 

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Nightstrikes, if its anything like it was at the end of the summer last year you should really consider getting back into it.

Ideally I am going to try and get my hands on some of Magaritaville's rakes and spend some late summer days on the water crabbing the creeks until the tide gets too low and then trying my hand at clamming. Could be some good eating and some good fun

RyanF
 

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Three times in '05, I was surveyed while crabbing small creeks with handlines. They were very pleasant and stayed out of the way. Each time they were surprised at the number and size of the crabs I was harvesting.

[ 01-18-2006, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: LOOPY64 ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Originally posted by RyanF:
Nightstrikes, if its anything like it was at the end of the summer last year you should really consider getting back into it.

RyanF
Oh I know, on a few different occasions late at night during the out-going tides thousands of Big One's were drifting with the current on top.All I needed was a metal net and we could of cleaned up off our kayak...
 

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RyanF, you will enjoy clamming and esp eating them fresh. I can't eat them raw but I do love the chowder they make and we also make clams casino. Clams also good with pasta. Its not hard work and your done fairly quickly with your limit.
 

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I tried to eat a clam from the local seafood market raw and it didnt seem right. is there anything you should do to thest clams to eat them raw??

RyanF
 

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we put some type of spicy salsa on ours but i still didnt like the texture!
 
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