Battling Scotch broom along Olympic’s Hoh River that threatens fish, forests – Seattle Times

The never ending battle with an invasive species we brought here…..sigh…By the way, I thought that a Times reporter would know better than to end a sentence with a preposition!

….Brought to the United States from the British Isles and central Europe as an ornamental and for erosion control, Scotch broom is a nuisance familiar to anyone in Western Washington, where it chokes pastures, roadsides, fence-lines and any bare ground it can get ahold of. Here along the Hoh River and in other Olympic Peninsula salmon strongholds, it is threatening prime salmon habitat. The plant establishes a monoculture that grows 15 feet in height, and each plant every year can pump out 12,000 seeds viable for up to 90 years. Wiley and tough as wire, Scotch broom quickly occupies new areas, out-competing other plants and preventing normal growth of native species. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Where did the Puget Sound green crabs come from? We’re still not sure.- Puget Sound Institute

It’s amazing how far afield the Columbia River affects environments. I’ve also heard it said by folks researching it that our Orca prefer (historically that is) the Columbia River (and Fraser River) Chinook and Chum. Maybe because of swimming longer distances make them more muscular? But again, research is the key to assumptions.

Genetic testing shows that invasive European green crabs in Puget Sound likely did not come from the Sooke Basin in British Columbia as previously thought. New findings on the crab’s origins were presented at the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle. Scientists are looking at a variety of potential sources.

Seasonal hunt ends; after finding 96 green crabs, trapping to resume in April – Skagit Valley Herald/PDN

News from the invasive front.

The hunt in Dungeness for the invasive European green crab is over for the season. Resource managers report that since April, they’ve caught 96 green crabs on the Dungeness Spit and one in Sequim Bay. Lorenz Sollmann, deputy project leader at the Washington Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, said researchers opted to extend the search for green crab after finding a few more of the invasive species, but in their last few days of trapping Oct. 16-18, no green crabs were caught. Matthew Nash reports. (Peninsula Daily News) See also: Group finds more invasive green crabs over summer Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

After the Tsunami, Japan’s Sea Creatures Crossed an Ocean – NY Times

The untold story  from Fukushima. While I’ve been asked by people about the issue of radiation from Fukushima getting into our food chain, there is a much bigger issue we are facing. It’s this one.

TOKYO — The towering tsunami that devastated Japan six years ago also unleashed a very different sort of threat onto the distant coastline of North America: a massive invasion of marine life from across the Pacific Ocean.

More on the Green Crab invasion

April 26, 2017



MaryAnn Wagner, Washington Sea Grant, 206-616-6353,

Allen Pleus, Aquatic Invasive Species Unit Lead, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, 360-902-2724,

Lorenz Sollmann, Deputy Project Leader, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 360-457-8451,

Invasive Green Crab Found at Dungeness Spit

Sequim, WA — A new population of invasive European green crab has been found at Dungeness Spit, near Sequim, Washington, rekindling concern over the potential for damage to local marine life and shorelines.

Staff and volunteers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which manages Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), captured a total of 13 European green crab over the past two weeks as part of Washington Sea Grant’s (WSG) Crab Team early detection program. These numbers indicate that the invasive crabs are more abundant at Dungeness Spit than at the two other known locations in Washington’s inland waters.

“Directly addressing the threat of green crab requires both early detection and rapid response, with the goal of finding isolated populations when they are still rare and reducing or eliminating them,” said Allen Pleus, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Aquatic Invasive Species Unit Lead.

The first discovery of this globally damaging invasive crab in Washington’s Salish Sea was made by WSG Crab Team volunteers last August on San Juan Island, followed quickly by a detection at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (PBNERR), near Mt. Vernon. In both cases, follow-up rapid response trapping and removal by a joint WSG, WDFW, and PBNERR team showed that the crabs were present, but still very rare in those locations.

“This is a very different situation,” says Crab Team Program Coordinator, Emily Grason. “In Padilla Bay, the crabs we found were too far apart to find and mate with each other, but at Dungeness Spit, multiple crabs are being found at the same site, over successive days of trapping. This indicates a situation where the population could grow very quickly, if we don’t intervene.”

Dungeness Spit NWR, in coordination with WDFW and the WSG Crab Team staff, immediately responded to the initial detection with a rapid response trapping effort and are currently working on a plan with local stakeholders for ongoing response and removal efforts for the area.

European green crab is one of the most globally-successful invasive species, and established populations are problems in Australia, South Africa, and the East Coast of the U.S. In places where the crab has become abundant, it has been blamed for damaging shellfish harvests and decimating sea grass beds. Research on the U.S. West Coast has indicated that native organisms such as shore crabs, young Dungeness crabs, as well as shellfish, could be harmed by invasive green crab. The nearest known population of green crab to Washington state is just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, west of Victoria, British Columbia, in Sooke Inlet.

The sites at Dungeness Spit are part of WSG Crab Team’s rapidly expanding early detection network, which currently numbers 36 sites, maintained by volunteers, tribes and agencies.

Concerned citizens can help by keeping a lookout for European green crab when visiting salt marshes and pocket estuaries. For information on how to recognize the crab, and likely places to look, visit the Crab Team website: Anyone who thinks they have found a green crab should leave the crab in place and email photographs to the WSG Crab Team at

Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, provides statewide research, outreach and education services addressing the challenges facing our ocean and coasts. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Join the conversation: WASeaGrant and Crab Team and Crab Team Twitter

Photos available. Captions below:

1-European Green Crab found at Dungeness Spit, Sequim, April 2017. Photo by Allen Pleus, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

2- Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge Deputy Project Leader with USFWS, Lorenz Sollmann, putting out traps for the European Green Crab with UW Dr. Sean McDonald in background. Photo by Allen Pleus, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife at Dungeness Spit, Sequim, WA 2017.


Invasive Green Crabs found in Dungeness Refuge

This just in. The finding of these crabs in Dungeness  changes everything. This is a very real threat to our marine life as well as our sewer system outfalls, among other things. Those of us in the Marine Resources Committees and the county people, have known that green crabs were found randomly in isolated numbers west along the Canadian coast, and there have been limited findings of them at a few places around the north Sound. With this discovery though it means there is no turning back and stopping them is going to be very problematic, if it’s even possible. One crab can eat up to 45 clams a day and they reproduce worse than bunny rabbits or rats.

According to the USDA:

Impact: Preys on bivalves and other crustaceans, such as soft-shell clams and scallops (Grosholz and Ruiz 2002)

Heads up that 12 European green crab have been caught so far since last week at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. We have been working with USFWS and WA Sea Grant to support a limited rapid response and planning on setting up a stakeholder meeting in the next couple weeks to discuss implications and options. We’ve been in contact with Kelly Toy of Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

Allen Pleus
WDFW AIS and BW Unit Lead
(360) 902-2724 office<>

Here is a fun short video about them.

Invasive Crab Found For First Time In Washington’s Inland Saltwaters – NW Sportsman Magazine

On top of everything else, now this.

A San Juan Islands beach survey turned up an “unexpected and unwelcome” discovery earlier this week: a raving mad crab.

It’s the first European green crab found in Puget Sound.

Invasive Crab Found For First Time In Washington’s Inland Saltwaters

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