Water Watch

By , November 25, 2012

We have a lot of reasons to watch the waters of Lynn Canal in front of our homestead. Lately, though, there’s been a new reason to keep an eye on what’s happening out there. A week or two ago, a commercial crabber dropped a line of crab traps parallel to our beach, a few yards off the rocks.

crab floats

Keeping an eye on the floats isn’t easy. Do you see them in this picture? Or even in the circle? (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

We don’t crab in these particular waters. The current is far too strong for our pots, and quite likely there are no crab out there. The ocean floor slopes downward for a few yards, then drops abruptly to about 200-300 feet. We drop our traps over in the bay.

About once or twice a year, we’ll see floats go by, privately-owned traps that the current carries past us. If the tide level’s right, and the water’s not too rough, we might go out and grab it, and try to return it to the owner if the markings on the float are still legible, but we can do little but watch most of them go by.

In the 7 years we’ve owned the property, we’ve never seen any crabbers drop traps here, so this set surprised us. We’re curious to see if they catch anything, but to do that, we’ll have to be here when they come by to pick them up.

We don’t know the habits of the commercial crabbers, so we have no idea how long they usually leave the traps out. The seas have been extrremely rough for a long time now, but I don’t suppose that would deter a skilled crab fisher. We assumed they’d pick it up on a weekend, but I think two have passed without any action so far. All we can do is check to see if they’re there a few times each day, and hopefully be there when they come to pick them up, to catch a glimpse of their luck.

But, it was not to be . . . . We hiked over to Mid Bay for dinner with friends about an hour before dark Sunday evening. Monday morning, the floats were missing. We seem to have missed our moment, after more than a week of waiting. C’est la vie.

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