Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Dungeness Crab - How Sweet It Is!
One of the things we like to do most when we go to Oregon is go crabbing. It is so much fun. It is like opening a surprise package every fifteen minutes! When you crab you need some very important equipment: a chair, a book, a camera, snacks or lunch, a license, a net and bait, a rope, a crab gauge, and a bucket!
Crab nets come in all shapes and sizes. We use the crab rings. They have lasted a long time. I believe we bought them in the 80's when we first took the girls to Oregon. They are well-used!
The bait goes in a container that is secured in the center of the bottom ring. Sea lions like to visit so it must be snug! Ropes are attached to the net and it is tossed off the pier or off of the dock.
While you wait, you have important things to do. You can look at the scenery.
You can play with your camera.
You can take pictures of sea gulls who want to steal bait....or somebody's lunch. On this day, after the sea gull stole somebody's bait...he came back and took his lunch! It isn't a good idea to leave your things unattended.
After fifteen minutes you can pull up the net to see if you have any crabs.
When the net is on the dock, you check the crabs for size and their sex. In Oregon you are only allowed to keep male crabs and they must measure a minimum of 5 3/4 inches across the back, in front of at the last points. I have labeled two crabs in the net below so you can see how to tell males from females. It is the shape on their abdomen. Males have a triangular shaped abdomen and females a broader shaped one.
Any crabs that are not keepers are returned to the water unharmed. The nets are tossed back in and we continue reading, watching scenery, or chatting with fellow crabbers.
Crabbing was excellent this year! We didn't always pull up nets full of crabs, but when it happened, everybody is excited.
Dungeness crab is so sweet! It makes our hard work crabbing worth every minute!!
I am participating in Outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.