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POPULATION STATUS AND DYNAMICS

Purpose: To better understand Dungeness crab biology, including spatial and temporal variation of larval crab abundance, characteristics of different life stages of crab, controls on population growth and distribution, and connectivity between different source populations.

Research Priorities:

  • Determine the best predictors of adult Dungeness crab abundance 

  • Identify population bottlenecks (e.g. spatial, temporal, life history)

  • Characterize mechanisms and extent of larval transport and distribution (see ongoing larval crab study)

  • Quantify basic information on biology and behavior to develop accurate stock assessments for Dungeness crab in inland Washington waters

  • Assess the male/female population structure

  • Investigate spatial and/or temporal variation in molting/mating

  • Determine the best way to use test fishery data in a predictive way

  • Define the source and sink dynamics along the west coast, specifically targeting Washington State, for Dungeness crab populations

  • Use genetic tools to define stock structure in the crab population

  • Identify connectivity of regional population(s) of Dungeness crab