Catching crabs within the Weekapaug Breachway is the final word expertise in touching, feeling, and coexisting with historical sea life. However earlier than you start your tour it’s sensible to know not solely which crabs are edible or not, but in addition that are unlawful to reap.
The Weekapaug Breachway is teaming with a number of types of crabs, the commonest of which is the inexperienced crab. This creature has both a inexperienced or darkish brown shell. It is legs are skinny and it’s readily obvious this crab incorporates little or no meat. The inexperienced crab is actually a scavenger that can latch onto something useless on the ocean flooring. It is usually a menace to the soft-shelled clam inhabitants. Larger up on the meals chain are rock crabs whose mild, cream-colored shell stands in stark distinction to its inexperienced crab brothers and sisters. Rock crabs are seen as a delicacy and are harvested in Rhode Island not solely recreationally, however commercially as effectively. Blue crabs are much more fascinating. Years in the past, blue crabs had been an endangered species and off limits to crabbers both industrial or leisure. However their numbers have sufficiently returned and whereas they’re most related to Chesapeake Bay, they’re frequent within the waters from Weekapaug to Narragansett Bay. Out-of-staters are to be forewarned – harvesting of blue crabs is by residents solely. Making blue crabs distinctive is that they could be cooked and eaten complete, shell and all. There may be additionally a strict measurement restrict of 5 inches and a harvest restrict of 25. It is usually noteworthy that blue crabs can’t be harvested between sundown and dawn.
Lastly, there may be the horseshoe crab, a creature noteworthy on many fronts. First, it is scary-looking! In case you can think about a German soldier’s helmet strolling throughout the ocean flooring, you’ve a fairly good image of what a horseshoe crab seems like. One added function is that the horseshoe crab has an 8-inch, laborious, spiked tail. The horseshoe crab usually buries itself within the mud. Pity the one that comes strolling by. The horseshoe crab shoots its tail upward as a protection mechanism, and to step on it will absolutely imply a visit to the hospital! An additional distinctive high quality of the horseshoe crab is evidenced by a quote from the laws of the Rhode Island Division of Fisheries and Wildlife – “No individual shall harvest horseshoe crabs from waters or shoreline of the state throughout the 48-hour interval previous and the 48-hour interval following the brand new and full moons throughout the months of Could, June and July yearly.
Crabbing within the Weekapaug Breach is various things to totally different folks. To a baby it is a bucket stuffed with inexperienced crabs to be loved and tossed again into the ocean on the finish of the day. To the seafood lover, there may be the satisfaction of the catch-your-own dinner consisting of rock and blue crabs. And to the lover of nature, there may be the majesty and thriller of the traditional horseshoe crab.