June 13 – Blue crabs for supper

Wednesday, June 13

Darcy Wilkins and I left a mangrove workshop in Lafayette after lunch to head down to the Paul J Rainey Sanctuary. She is heading an oral history project at the LSU Sea Grant, and was coming to interview Timmy as practice with her new equipment and to use as an example for the students she will be working with later this fall.

Figure 1. Darcy waiting to ride out to Rainey.

Figure 1. Darcy waiting to ride out to Rainey.

We launched the 17-ft boat, the Avocet, at the public landing at Intracoastal City, attached the splash guard to protect Darcy’s electronics, and made it to the Rainey headquarters around 3:00, just as Timmy was leaving to attend a meeting back in Abbeville.

We unloaded the boat and settled in. With Timmy gone, dinner was up to us. I had obtained permission to go crabbing at Pete Lege’s family property on Belle Isle Bayou. We took our bait, string and weight, cooler and scoop net and motored down the bayou.

When we got to the weir, egrets and herons scattered at our approach. Huge alligator gar were rolling in the waterway, and several alligators were spaced down the drainage channel watching us. The warm, slow moving water was apparently low in dissolved oxygen and crabs were covering the rocks trying to crawl out of the water. All we had to do was scoop them up – no bait needed. By the time Timmy returned from town, a pot of boiled crabs was drained and cooling.

Figure 2. Crabbing at the weir on Belle Isle Bayou.

Figure 2. Crabbing at the weir on Belle Isle Bayou.

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