During Week 9, I spent most of my time designing my PowerPoint and poster and prepping for the presentation and poster session Friday. So, not much to report in terms of activities. But I would like to share my poster with you and talk a little bit about my major findings. Even for non-crabbers, I think they are pretty interesting.
I interviewed 162 boats with 452 anglers on board. After asking crabbers how much gear they lost that day, I calculated that the rate of pot loss was about 0.025 pots + rings per angler trip in both the ocean and the bay. What that number boils down to is that if you decided to hop in your boat right now and go crabbing, you’d have about a 2.5% chance of loosing one of your pots or rings.
(An “angler trip” is a single fisherman taking a single fishing trip. For instance, if three crabbers go crabbing on a boat, that is considered three angler trips, even though all three crabbers were on the same vessel.)
I took that statistic and, along with the average number of angler trips taken in 2010 and 2011, found a minimum estimate for the number of pots and rings lost each year in Oregon: a little over 2,000. 725 in the ocean and 1,317 in five of Oregon’s major estuaries. These are based on a small set of data, but I am excited that I was able to help put a number on something that was previously unknown. ODFW is going to look into trying to expand the data set, maybe by doing more interviews at different ports and times of year. This could also provide some info on “hotspots” of gear loss.
In other news, we made some crab cakes with fresh Dungeness this week, and they were some of the best things I’ve ever eaten. And that’s coming from someone whose most favorite foods are almost always in the pasta and ice cream categories. Eggs + mayonnaise + lemon juice + tarragon + green onions + buttery crackers + crab = magic.
Although, if I’m being honest, just crackers = magic as well.