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And Now We Have Crabs

Yep, I purposely posted that title.  Got your attention, didn’t I?  Now let me tell you the story. . . .

Got a message last week.  Person asked if there were blue crabs in Nebraska?

My answer was short and easy, “NO, there are NO crabs found in Nebraska.”

Then I got the photos.  They were taken on the shoreline of an urban reservoir:

Steve Morse photo. Thanks, Steve!

Take a closer look:


Yep, look like blue crabs to me.

Now you know why I never say “never” around here.

The crabs were alive when initially discovered.  Further inspection resulted in some claws and shells being located, but no live crabs.

I cannot overemphasize how much something like this “triggers” pointy-headed fisheries biologists.  Who had half-dozen+ live crabs in Nebraska?  Why did they have them?  Where did they get them and how did they get here?  And lastly, why in the world would they take ’em to the local “lake” and turn ’em loose?????

Unwanted species getting moved around are one of the greatest threats to fisheries all around the country.  Unfortunately, this just proves what kind of stuff happens, what gets moved around.  Some of it is done ignorantly, some unknowingly, but I am afraid to say some is done intentionally.

Am I suggesting that this urban waterbody is bound to be overrun with blue crabs?  No, I doubt that any survive.  However, I have been told that it is possible for those crabs to survive in freshwater!  I am submitting that these activities threaten my fishing, your fishing!  Sure, you can suggest that it will not hurt anything, suggest that it does not make any difference.  It might not.  However, I will tell you that is exactly how we have a host of invasive species we are now dealing with.  The cavalier attitude is wrong and it is a threat to our resources, your resources, my resources!

That is why we frequently will continue to crawl up on this soapbox.  Do NOT transport aquatic critters or aquatic vegetation, do not release them into any waters.  As a matter of fact, do not even transport water from one waterbody to another.  I would appreciate it if you see someone dumping buckets, water or anything into any public waters that you gather as much information as possible (e.g. license plate numbers), snap some photos, and LET US KNOW ABOUT IT!  Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers, 1-800-742-7627.



About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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