Abstract Title

Session S-09E: Marine, Freshwater and Terrestrial Species: Threats and Conservation

Proposed Abstract Title

Narrowing the search for European green crab in Washington’s inland waters

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Location

Room 6C

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Description

The invasive, fist-sized European green crab was first found in waters adjacent to the Salish Sea in 1998 after warm El Nino currents spread larvae of California populations up the Eastern Pacific coast to estuaries as far north as Vancouver Island. Most outer coast populations had limited establishment success, persisting as either small or geographically constrained populations. Because of the potential risk the invasive crab posed to coastal resources, it was designated a deleterious species in Washington State, placing strict constraints on possession and transport of the species and giving the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife authority to monitor and control the crabs. The Salish Sea appeared to be green crab-free until Fisheries and Oceans Canada staff discovered a thriving population in 2012 in Sooke Inlet near Victoria, British Columbia. To help inform monitoring and public outreach efforts, students from the University of Washington worked with staff from Washington Sea Grant and the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences to identify, map and prioritize suitable green crab habitat using course physical, biological and access characteristics that could be observed in satellite imagery. Nearly 100 locations appear to have high likelihood of being suitable for European green crab establishment. In August 2013, the authors surveyed for crab molts at select high priority locations on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and around Hood Canal and found no green crab molts. The surveys will be repeated in 2014 with outreach to coastal communities around selected priority locations.

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Narrowing the search for European green crab in Washington’s inland waters

Room 6C

The invasive, fist-sized European green crab was first found in waters adjacent to the Salish Sea in 1998 after warm El Nino currents spread larvae of California populations up the Eastern Pacific coast to estuaries as far north as Vancouver Island. Most outer coast populations had limited establishment success, persisting as either small or geographically constrained populations. Because of the potential risk the invasive crab posed to coastal resources, it was designated a deleterious species in Washington State, placing strict constraints on possession and transport of the species and giving the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife authority to monitor and control the crabs. The Salish Sea appeared to be green crab-free until Fisheries and Oceans Canada staff discovered a thriving population in 2012 in Sooke Inlet near Victoria, British Columbia. To help inform monitoring and public outreach efforts, students from the University of Washington worked with staff from Washington Sea Grant and the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences to identify, map and prioritize suitable green crab habitat using course physical, biological and access characteristics that could be observed in satellite imagery. Nearly 100 locations appear to have high likelihood of being suitable for European green crab establishment. In August 2013, the authors surveyed for crab molts at select high priority locations on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and around Hood Canal and found no green crab molts. The surveys will be repeated in 2014 with outreach to coastal communities around selected priority locations.