The European green crab, an invasive species, has been found for the first time in Washington’s inland waters.
The European green crab, an invasive species that can eat clams, shellfish and young salmon, has been found for the first time in Washington’s inland waters.
The crab was discovered in late August in Westcott Bay, San Juan Island, by volunteers with Washington Sea Grant’s Crab Team. Three experts confirmed that the captured crustacean — a 3-inch adult male — was indeed a green crab.
European green crabs, which can stow away on ships, showed up in East Coast waters in the 1800s. In the Pacific Northwest, the crab has been present for more than a decade in the coastal estuaries of Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor as well as off Oregon and Vancouver Island.
With some 400 possible suitable sites in the state’s inland waters, Washington Sea Grant has sounded a “call to action” for citizens to keep their eyes open for the green crab when they are on the beach.
Most Read Local Stories
- Potential loss of Anacortes ferry 'devastating to this community,' mayor says
- Seattle weather hits record high temperature; here's how long the skies will stay clear
- Sorry treatment of gay teachers suggests Rush Limbaugh was, sadly, right
- Where Seattle ranks among Washington's safest and least safe cities
- Police looking for killer of Edmonds 7-Eleven clerk
In Washington, the crab is a prohibited species, and possession is not permitted.
Anyone who thinks they’ve found one of these crabs is encouraged to take a photograph and report their observation via email to email@example.com.
More information can be found online at the Washington Sea Grant crab team website.