Crab Collecting

blue crab

Who We Are

Charlcie Stinnett

What We Did

We collected small blue crabs by standing in shallow parts of water where there was sea grass.  We tied chicken on fishing string, let the chicken sit in the water until a crab got to it, and then quickly scooped up the crab into a net.  We were looking for male crabs that couldn’t be any bigger than 4.5 cm.  It was a little challenging trying to grab the crabs from the net (since they didn’t want to let go) to see whether they were male or female.  I now know how to tell the difference between a male blue crab and a female blue crab, and I definitely think the female crabs are meaner.  We also used a push net to collect shrimp to feed to the crabs.  We caught a lot of other interesting things in the net in the process like small fish, eels, and pipe fish.

What We Learned

It takes a lot of time and patience to catch and collect crabs, especially when you keep getting the wrong size and the wrong gender.  I learned that a female blue crab has a V-shape on the bottom, and a male blue crab has a shape on the bottom that looks like a tower.

Questions We Have

How big can blue crabs get?  How much can a blue crab eat?

Connections to Teaching

This would be a great opportunity to teach students about organisms that live in the area and things that we do that affect these organisms either in a negative way or a positive way.

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