Status of the European Green Crab in Oregon and Washington Estuaries Final Report November 2006 Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/defaults/pz50h088v

Prepared for Aquatic Nuisance Species Project, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

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  • Following the last El Niño of 1997-98, a strong cohort of young green crabs appeared in estuaries along the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Unusually strong northward-moving coastal currents (up to 50 km/day from September 1997 to April 1998) must have transported green crab larvae from more established source populations in California to the Northwest. Coastal transport events have been much weaker in recent years. It was hoped that green crabs would go extinct in the Pacific Northwest once the original colonists reached the end of their life span of 6 years and no new larvae arrived from California. From 2002 to 2004 green crab catches in Oregon and Washington were only around 7 crabs per 100 traps. However, this population size appears to be large enough to keep the population from going extinct. Local recruitment has occurred in Oregon and Washington estuaries and inlets on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Good recruitment in 2003, 2005 and 2006 is linked to warm winters and shore-ward transport in late winter/early spring when larvae are believed to be settling out from the plankton. The 2005 and 2006 year-classes are now the dominant cohorts in the Pacific Northwest, thus assuring a larval source until 2012 when the last of these crabs will die of old age. Even though green crab abundance in the Pacific Northwest is still low when compared to Europe, eastern North America, Tasmania and California, it is imperative to continue monitoring efforts for two reasons: 1) to elucidate the process of range expansion and population persistence of this model non-indigenous marine species with planktonic larvae and 2) to understand the role of ocean conditions on recruitment strength in order to predict the next strong recruitment event of green crabs. Outreach efforts to educate the general public, including boaters and shellfish growers, not to transport non-native Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) from one area to another should continue. Such efforts could delay the spread and establishment of the green crab in the inland sea between Vancouver Island and the mainland, including Puget Sound and Hood Canal.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Patricia Black (patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2015-05-01T17:11:10ZNo. of bitstreams: 2license_rdf: 1370 bytes, checksum: cd1af5ab51bcc7a5280cf305303530e9 (MD5)PSMFCReportFall2006.pdf: 1288054 bytes, checksum: 58b9b27ad04c7c830f1c626bd1da66ab (MD5)
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