Chesapeake Bay's Independent Newspaper ~ Since 1993
1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 ~ 410-626-9888

Volume XVII, Issue 45 ~ November 5 - November 11, 2009

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We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, 1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 •E-mail them to [email protected]. or submit your letters on-line by clicking here.

Save the Female Crab And Save the Species

Dear Bay Weekly:

A female crab does not mate for life. There are things about her you can’t find an answer for in a book. You have to live with them, catch them, see them go through many changes, watch them as you grow up, and then you will know their secrets.

There are five cycles the female crab must live through before she can become productive. One is a hard crab with a V apron, next is a hard peeler with a V apron, next is a soft peeler with a V apron, next is a buster with a V apron, next is a soft crab with an oval apron.

The male crab begins mating while the female is a hard peeler, then a soft peeler, then a soft crab, and he stays with her until she becomes hard again. The male stays with her throughout all these cycles, and when he lets go she is pregnant.

She then will go to Virginia in the fall and bury in the mud till spring. During the winter, an egg mass will form under her apron. As the water warms, she will lay her eggs, which will number in the millions! She then will go out on her own not to mate again.

There is only one other thing that mates only once; that is a queen bee.

I saw in the paper where they brought Mexicans in to pick pregnant crabs in the picking house. Picking female crabs while they have an egg mass should be outlawed. As well, the harvest of female crabs needs to be illegal, at least until the population has a chance to recover.

If all the women in Maryland suddenly disappeared, there would no longer be any offspring. The same goes for crabs. Please stop the harvesting of female crabs before there are no longer any crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.

–Capt. Alvin Butler Knopp, Owings Beach

Scrivener’s note: Capt. Alvin celebrated his 90th birthday just recently. He can be found at Happy Harbor at 7am most mornings of the week. He has been a life-long waterman, and I am forwarding this letter at his request.–Doug Willis, Churchton,

Choose Your Riverkeeper Team for MRE Tug of War

Dear Bay Weekly:

We are looking for a few good men and women to help out for a fun event. The annual Maritime Republic of Eastport Tug of War against Annapolis raises money for several good causes. Last year, the Severn Riverkeeper team defeated the South River Federation team, so this year South River has asked for our help. We’re looking for some recruits who want to be on the South/West/Rhode team for the Tug on November 7.

If interested, please email riverkeeper Chris Trumbauer at [email protected] for more information. And start eating your Wheaties.

–Amy Colhoun, Program Director: West/Rhode Riverkeeper

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