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Spring 2021 ~ Newsletter

Spring has arrived! And with it, lots of exciting developments within the ever expanding PCRG community:


Larval Crab Monitoring -

On April 15th, 12 light traps were deployed across WA state waters to begin the 2021 monitoring season. An additional five light traps are anticipated to begin monitoring for their pilot seasons starting this summer, three of which will be located in the Strait of Georgia, with British Columbia partners! Also new this season are HOBO temperature loggers that will be deployed alongside light traps, and a technical advisory team (Margaret Homerding, Ryan Crim, Sarah Grossman, and Claire Cook) to help guide the project.


Image description: Swinomish biologists training community volunteers to check the light trap at Rosario head, Deception Pass State Park. Photo credit Emily Buckner.


In addition to collecting data, these light traps are providing great educational opportunities for students to learn more about Puget Sound ecology and gain valuable hand-on field experience. Examples of this include:

  • Middle school curriculum developed by Pacific Shellfish Institute (find out more from Katie Houle katie@pacshell.org)

  • UW Tacoma (Becker Lab), Evergreen State College, and Science and Math Institute (SAMI) students getting field experience by participating in the data collection at the Skokomish and MaST center light traps

  • Friday Harbor high schoolers building light traps in an engineering class


Follow the study and see what we are catching @PNWCrab








Ventless Trap Working Group -

This PCRG working group was formed following the winter meeting to begin discussing the development of a study to better estimate sub-legal adult crab abundance. In the first meeting, guest presenters from Massachusetts Dept. of Marine Fisheries spoke to the group about a similar type of study they implemented for lobster in the northeast. In the second meeting, the group discussed research questions and began planning for a summer workshop to develop the study design. Details for workshop TBA.


Crabber and Scientist Exchange -

In April, we piloted our Crabber and Scientist Exchange (CASE) program: conversational events for scientists and crabbers to share their research questions and observations with one another. The first evening program was held virtually, and was attended by 20 treaty and non-treaty commercial crabbers. We hope to hold our next CASE event in the fall of 2021.


Presentations -

Emily Buckner (PCRG Program Coordinator) presented on the group’s formation, research goals and larval crab monitoring study at the National Shellfish Association Conference (Commercial Shellfisheries session) in March and will be giving a similar presentation to the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee in May. Emily also presented PCRG’s larval crab 2020 observations at the Puget Sound Partnership’s Marine Waters Working Group Workshop as a part of the zooplankton session.

Coordinating Committee -

The PCRG Coordinating Committee is in the process of finishing the group’s Charter and Data Sharing Agreement, as well as exploring partnerships with other organizations to increase the long-term sustainability of PCRG. Updates to the rest of the group will be shared at the summer meeting.

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