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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


July 20, 2000
Contact: Sandra Hanson, (360) 586-1498

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Volunteers needed to help spot invasive crab species

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking volunteers to help monitor tidelands in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, for an invasive species of crab that poses a potential threat to shellfish and other marine resources.

The European green crab (Carcinus maenas), is a non-native species that was discovered on the outer coast of Washington State in 1998. While there are no confirmed reports of this 3 -inch crab in Puget Sound, "green crab" have recently been found in British Columbia on Vancouver Island.

Early detection of green crab through tideland monitoring greatly increases the chances WDFW could successfully control and perhaps eradicate new infestations. Valuable baseline data also is collected on native crabs and other marine animals during green-crab monitoring.

A free volunteer monitoring training session will be offered from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 8, at the Crescent Grange, 50724 State Route 112, in Joyce, just west of Port Angeles. The training, provided by WDFW staff, will cover such topics as invasion history, biology, West Coast monitoring and control techniques, WDFW monitoring and data collection procedures and native crab and green crab identification.

The time commitment for volunteers is minimal, and monitoring equipment will be provided (as supplies allow) to those who are interested in using the standard, baited-trap monitoring method.

Please contact Sandra Hanson at (360) 586-1498 or email to hansoseh@dfw.wa.gov to learn more about this opportunity and to reserve a space at the training.