The Crustaceans of the Pacific Northwest
The pacific northwest has many areas for sport fishing of Crustaceans, and you will not be disappointed. I love going out to get your own crabs and prawns. I used to go out at low night tides towing a small skiff behind me, clam rake in hand with a flashlight.
When you see a crab scurrying away, you lightly step on it, slid the clam rake under your foot to hold the crab to your foot. You swing your foot over your skiff, holding the crab to it with the rake, then you let the crab fall into the boat. Hand didn’t get wet and the crab did not pinch you.
People often mistake empty dungeness shells strewn along beaches for dead crabs. Crabs shed and grow new shells regularly as part of their growth process. The old shell splits at the back and along the sides so the crab can back out. The shell the crab leaves behind is an almost intact replica of the crab.
The hermit crab is a land or water dwelling crustacean. Unlike true crabs, hermit crabs have soft, vulnerable abdomens. For protection from predators, many hermit crabs seek out abandoned shells, usually snail shells to live in.
The mudflat crab can be found throughout the pacific northwest. When approached, this tiny crustacean will rear up on its hind legs, ready to do battle.
Crustaceans are a wide ranging group of arthropods that include lobsters, crayfish, crabs, prawns, shrimp, barnacles, amphipods and isopods. There are several easy ways to identify crustaceans, they have a segmented body and an exoskeleton, their limbs are branched, and they two pairs of antennae. There are about 42,000 species of crustaceans, they are mostly aquatic and most live in a ocean marine environment. There are only a few species of crustaceans found on land or in freshwater. They are a wonderful and diverse group of animals.