Monday, September 7, 2009

Nehalem Crabs

A forty-five year family tradition of sport crabbing in Nehalem Bay, Oregon and 2009 brought in a record catch. 110 regulation sized, male hard bodies. All keepers. But who's counting.

Reports from the early morning crabbers came quick. A dozen, twenty five, forty. By 10:30 the count was called in at 85. Knowing my two conservation minded brothers were at the helm, I defaulted to believe 85 caught but not kept. No way. The processing alone would be a full days work.

At 11:30 the catch was called off. Over a hundred. Crabs were handed to tourists on the dock and tossed to boats with fewer hands. Pots were pulled in. Damn. Twenty more.

Thirty were culled from the crowd as the best to cook and eat on the beach. 80 odd were transported to the docks for a quick cook, clean and ice. Stable and deal with later.

Dedicated hours:
Day One
crabbers- 6 primary and 5 trainees (11) in two boats x 4 hours = 44 hours
Dock cookers and cleaners 4 x 1.5 hours = 6 hours
Beach cookers and cleaners 2 x 1 hour = 2 hours
30 eaters

Day Two
6 pickers x 1.5 hours = 9 hours

61 hours of good clean fun
380.00 for boat, pot and bait
20 pounds (+/-) crab meat with street value of 500.00

Boiled crab on the beach
Crab cakes
Crab and cheese melts
Crab Tortelloni
and frozen crab for later

But who's counting.

(photo courtesy of Conor Colwell)