Crab and Prawn Facts
One of the questions we get from our guests are what types of fish or sea creatures will we be able to catch on our trips.
Please check the government website regarding seasonal closures and catch limits regarding the different types of salmon.
Dungeness crab thrive in cold water, making the ocean off British Columbia a prime fishing area. They prefer sandy areas and live at variable depths but they are most abundant above 50-metre depths. They feed primarily on live prey including fish, crustaceans, clams and worms but will also scavenge.
Crabbing can be done all year round; however, commercial crabbing season starts July 1st so it is not recommended to crab during this time because most crabs will tend to be undersized.
Creative Commons Portrait by Will Scullin is license under CC by 2.0
Creative Commons dungeness crab 200 by Paula Outer, courtesy Louisiana Sea Grant College Program is license under CC by 2.0
Crab harvesting is only legal by use of trap, ring net, dip net or hand picking. In the summer, crabbing is done on a full day (8 hour) trip in order to give the traps time for the catch.
Use a caliper device to measure in a straight line through the widest part of the shell.
The Dungeness crab must measure at least 165 mm. You much immediately release all female Dungeness crabs. The female’s abdomen has a wide “beehive” shape; the male’s has a narrow “lighthouse” shape.
British Columbia spot prawns are found all along the North American Pacific coast from southern California to Alaska. They are also found in along Korea and Japan. They live in typically in rocky habitats along the seafloor rom intertidal zones to depths greater than 400 m.
They are characterised by four distinct white spots on their body, a pair of spots behind their head, an a pair of spots in front of the tail.
Creative Commons prawn by Paul Scott is license under CC by 2.0
Creative Commons prawn by Dan Hershman is license under CC by 2.0
The traps lie along the rocky ocean floor at depths ranging from 40 to 100 metres. This method has minimal impact on ocean habitat and very low levels of by-catch of other species. The fisherman returns later in the day to collect their haul.
Sustainable fisheries mean harvesting and farming stocks in a way that meets our present needs without compromising the ability to meet our future needs. Prawning season tends to be very short so please check with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for seasonal closures.
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