Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stone Crabber for a Day

Yesterday I was privileged to be able to go out with Captain Ricky Mayfield, a local commercial stone crabber and his crew to see first hand what a typical day on the water is like for these guys. I already knew they put in long hours, but being able to help pull, bait, and deploy traps along side them only deepened my respect for them and the industry. It was a great learning experience for me. In all we pulled about 400 traps. Although I thought this was a lot, I was informed that this was considered a "slow day". (Well, my back says otherwise-I can't argue that I didn't get a heck of workout though!). By the end of the day we ended up bringing back close to 200 pounds of claws (again, this is considered a low). If there was anything I learned from yesterday's experience, it was the crew was all about working smart and efficient. It took all I had to keep up with them. It is a good thing they didn't solely depend on me to declaw the crabs or else we'd still be on the boat! I took plenty of pictures for you to get a better idea of what it was like. By the way, if you dine at Kelly's Fish House in Naples in the next several days, you might just eat some of the claws I helped catch!!! Enjoy!

If you'd like to learn more about stone crabs and the fishery visit:

On the water by 6:30AM. Note the trays
of hogs feet, which will be used as bait

Part of the mornings catch!

Stu cooling off the crabs until their claws are
removed and they're put back in the water.

An undersized crab in the a trap with
a piece of bait

Captain Ricky at the helm

Stu and Roberto declawing the crabs and
using a gauge to make sure the claws meet the
2 3/4 inch min size limit

Stu with a "hog" crab

Captain Ricky and Roberto unloading the day's catch

Weighing part of the day's catch back at
Combs Fish House

1 comment: