Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Land Crabs, Beach Water Quality, and Kudos to Florida Today

Sunday's post talked about Land Crabs, and serendipitously, Jim showed up with some great photographs of the critters that he took over the weekend. They are such handsome creatures. Apparently, the terms Giant Land Crabs, Blue Land Crabs, and Great Land Crabs are synonomous. Dawn Witherington tells me that "The females and juveniles are purplish like in the image you have and the males are larger and more blue. The image you have is most likely a female since the juveniles are smaller and would not be on the beach. The females migrate to the beach to release their eggs and the males head to the beach for an opportunity to mate. Unfortunately there are hundreds that are squished on the road around here. " Dawn goes on to mention that after hurricane Jeanne, there were also hundreds of land crabs fleeing from their saturated burrows, so we can perhaps at least speculate that the current migration has been spurred by Tropical Storm Fay's deluge.

Be advised that while there are some that find them a tasty treat, per state regulations, removal of the crabs is limited to an open season from November 1 of each year through June 30 of the following year. No crabs can be removed during the closed season beginning on July 1 and continuing through October 31 of each year. By law, the land crabs can only be caught by hand or with the use of a landing or dip net. (I'm going to assume that removal means catching and eating, not relocating them out of your swimming pool.)

Good news for Brevard County beaches. Following Tropical Storm Fay, there was the usual concern about post-storm ocean water quality. Per Florida Today, "Routine weekly bacteriological testing conducted Monday confirms that the water quality in the area is good at monitored coastal beaches.These monitored beaches are all on the Atlantic Coast and do not represent the Indian River Lagoon.Bacteriological survey results are posted on our internet website at www.Floridashealth.com/beachwater. "

An editorial comment - Florida Today did a fine job of keeping us all informed during Tropical Storm Fay. Keeping in mind that the newspaper's employees are folks with homes and families also, both the print and on-line versions of the newspaper were informative, up-to-date, and somehow comforting. Not only that, in spite of rain and flooded roads, the print versions showed up on every doorstep the delivery people could get to. Job well done!

(Photo by Jim Angy - click to enlarge)

No comments: