Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oh Where Did All the Crabs Go!!

A few years ago, okay so it was more than a few...but who's counting. Kachamak Bay was crawling with crabs...Dungie's, Kings, and Opis could be found in the average shrimp pots that were placed around the Bay. I can recall my father and his crew going Halibut fishing...yes us kids stayed home under the watchful eye of "the BIG sister." Upon the adults return home a seafood supper would be held...clams, crab, shrimp and halibut IF the fishermen were lucky. Now for those that know my mixed up family...Heidi and I DO NOT like after a very long day of fighting over who is in charge of who we were not even rewarded with pizza...just fish.

Now I do believe that many times the adults probably consumed crab out of season and probably were a bit paronoid of being caught but who in their right mind would turn one back if it happened into a legal shrimp pot? Crab populations of Kachamak Bay were so abundant that my father and uncle once told me when the "undesirables" show up...such as unwanted boy friends and spouses...they were often taken "fishing" and never returned...the crabs and other bottom feeders would take care of the evidence left by any over exuberant fisherman who happened to fall into the water. Remember the prison system we have today was not as structured and you REALY had to mess up to end up people of Kachamak Bay took care of their problems themselves...and kept the crab populations happy.
A few years back they called a hault to all crabbing in the Kachamak Bay area...the crabs were gone. Many believe the population was wiped out due to over fishing, I know other wise.
At the time when crabs were in the Bay, fishermen everywhere tried different things to keep the crab happy and in the masses, these crabs were fed and treated like royalty...the monies brought in durring Crab Season were the way of life for the community by the sea. Some fishermen began making friends with the Crabs...talking to them about when the best times to fish are and where the largest Halibut could be found...this little dicussion was done privatly as to keep the secret fishing grounds secret.

Here my friends is the evidence...after a good meal of "undesirables" the crabs began to prefer that after dinner cigerette. (Note this one is smoking a menthol). This particular crab was smuggled into our camp site, he was questioned untill the answeres sought were recieved, allowed this last smoke, then turned into dinner to hide the evidance. So where did the crabs of Kachamak Bay go? Well those that managed to get away from this particular "fish terrorist" crawled their way over hills and swamps to return to the sea...some made it...some became birdy chow. The ones that returned to their friends below the waves returned with "man drugs." Peer pressure quickly past through the community of crabs, and fishermen every where began "losing" their cigerettes over the sides of their boats...with out the assistance of modern technology under the sea...the crabs all died of "gill cancer".

So this my friends and family is the true reason the crabs of Kachamak Bay have almost disappeared...dont take your cigerettes out on the water...I hear it's killing the smoked fish industry. my reality

Comments on "Oh Where Did All the Crabs Go!!"


Blogger Heidi said ... (7:58 AM) : 

HAHA...I love it.


Blogger Stan said ... (9:22 AM) : 

Great article and brought back some good memories of when as kids we caught King Crab fromthe docks in Homer and sold them to the tourists from Anchorage. We got $5.00 a piece for them! The picture of the crab and cigarette was great, that is the old Ford, if you noticed the ball hitch was onthe truck! I wonder who did steal the hitch? Being a law abiding person, I did not "smuggle" that crab into camp. We found it floating on the surface, we were fishing on the old "She'll Do II". That was the last crab that I had out of Kachemak Bay, we were camped in our old spot in the Picnic Hole (Steelhead) campground. Fond memories!


Blogger Brittany The Greatest said ... (5:38 PM) : 

Very nice mom i loved can tell who the dening crab stealing man is though because one...his truck the white ford with notice TWO navy bumper stickers on the tail gait and he smokes grandpa even if you didnt admitt to made the crime seen completely obvious


Blogger Heidi said ... (9:17 PM) : 

Good eye Brittany...Someone has to have the picture of the crab in Dad's fishing cap and a smoke.


Blogger Shana said ... (6:04 AM) : 

I have that one somewhere too....


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