Blog Post 5: 8/26/2016 – Coming to a Close: Marsh Deep and Turtle Happy – Hunting Island State Park

Hi everyone,

Though I still have another week of research, I’m on the tail end of my journey and I wanted to leave you with some concluding remarks. If daily crab trap numbers continue with a similar pattern, we’re looking at over 500 blue crabs … that’s a lot of crabs, majority of which are male. You could count the number of females on one hand. Without taking a close look at the data (not yet a complete set) my initial speculation and observation from hauling them out and measuring each day is that crab pots without a BRD (the control) catches the largest (in terms of width), and the most number wise in a single pot. Those fitted with the VA BRD and SC BRD seem comparable in terms of number of crabs caught, though the VA BRD takes the (crab)cake in terms of size. Because we don’t yet have a full data set, I can’t say for sure, but as we originally hypothesized that the Virginia BRD will keep out the most turtles while allowing the largest blue crabs and so as not to hurt the crabbing industry, I think this will follow through.

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Blog Post 4: 8/19/2016 – Early Rising – Hunting Island State Park

Hey there,

I’m doing very well here on Hunting Island State Park. This week was full of festivities. To start out the week, when I left the crab traps momentarily to go buy a soda, I returned to the crab pots dangling over the water. They had been tampered with and tied high up. I was slightly confused because no one had taken the pots themselves, or the crabs, but decided instead to leave them there.  I untied the knots and didn’t think much of it. As it turns out, when I was retrieving the hand truck to tote them back for the day, I ran into a ranger. I knew that there would be question regarding six commercial crab traps on a small marsh dock, so I told hi m what I was doing, and the details, and all was fine. But it turned out that someone had called the police, stating that someone was illegally crabbing on the park (it wasn’t in fact illegal, but whoever pulled them up thought so). This is just a reminder to make sure all your “Ts” are crossed and all your “Is” dotted because you never know when some disgruntled individual is going to stir with your process or project. This also serves as a reminder that people take fishing and crabbing rules seriously, I suppose for the sake of fairness.

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Blog Post 3: 8/14/2016 – Crabs Galore – Hunting Island State Park

Hey everyone,

Things are still plenty hot here in Beaufort, SC. Currently we’re in the dead center of research and we have yet to catch a terp (terrapin lingo), which is good actually. From the conversations I’ve had with local fisherman, the terps don’t seem to be extremely common for recreational fishers, as they aren’t left out (usually) for extended periods of time. Nevertheless, we took the advice of a local and went over to Sands Beach/Landing for the day at Port Royal, but didn’t catch any terrapins. Instead, we caught essentially only female crabs, which has been the exact opposite over in our primary location at the salt marsh dock.

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Blog Post 2: 8/1/2016 – Deep In the Marsh – Hunting Island State Park

What a great start to the summer. Now that I’ve been here over a week, I’m starting to get in the swing of research. Like most processes, procuring the crab traps and the appropriate permits was slow at the beginning. There’s always red tape and bureaucracy that can muddle efficiency. Nevertheless, we’ve been successful thus far in the marsh.

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Terrapin Turtle Ecology Research: Hunting Island State Park, SC

Hello All!

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Peter Myer, I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and I’m currently a sophomore at the College of William and Mary. I’m also a member of the the St. Andrews Joint Degree Program.

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