Mating Success of Female Dungeness Crabs (Cancer magister) in Oregon Coastal Waters

Paul Dunn, Alan Shanks

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The Dungeness crab is an important commercial and sports fishing species in Oregon. The fishery is regulated by sex, size, and season. This study examined whether female crabs are mating despite the removal of almost all legal-size male crabs each year. Of particular concern is whether large females are finding large enough mates. Females were collected from three Oregon fishing ports, dissected, and checked for evidence of mating. Captured male and female crabs were also measured to estimate population size distributions. The majority of female crabs examined (69%) mated in the collection year, and when combined with crabs that carried sperm from previous mating encounters (females store sperm), the percent of females that would have produced viable eggs was 83%. Crabs that definitely molted during the collection year showed higher mating success (95%). The largest females examined (carapace width, 160-169 mm) showed high mating success (84% Mated in the collection year, 95% could have produced viable eggs). These numbers compare favorably with a similar survey conducted in northern California, in which 69% of molting females had mated. We conclude from the data that molting females in these Oregon fishing ports are finding mates successfully, regardless of size.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Shellfish Research
Volume31
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)835-839
ISSN0730-8000
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Metacarcinus magister
mating success
coastal water
crab
cancer
crabs
sperm
molting
fishing
spermatozoa
fisheries
sport fishing
egg
population size
fishery

Keywords

  • Dungeness crab; Cancer magister; mating; Oregon; fertilization; fishery

Cite this

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title = "Mating Success of Female Dungeness Crabs (Cancer magister) in Oregon Coastal Waters",
abstract = "The Dungeness crab is an important commercial and sports fishing species in Oregon. The fishery is regulated by sex, size, and season. This study examined whether female crabs are mating despite the removal of almost all legal-size male crabs each year. Of particular concern is whether large females are finding large enough mates. Females were collected from three Oregon fishing ports, dissected, and checked for evidence of mating. Captured male and female crabs were also measured to estimate population size distributions. The majority of female crabs examined (69{\%}) mated in the collection year, and when combined with crabs that carried sperm from previous mating encounters (females store sperm), the percent of females that would have produced viable eggs was 83{\%}. Crabs that definitely molted during the collection year showed higher mating success (95{\%}). The largest females examined (carapace width, 160-169 mm) showed high mating success (84{\%} Mated in the collection year, 95{\%} could have produced viable eggs). These numbers compare favorably with a similar survey conducted in northern California, in which 69{\%} of molting females had mated. We conclude from the data that molting females in these Oregon fishing ports are finding mates successfully, regardless of size.",
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Mating Success of Female Dungeness Crabs (Cancer magister) in Oregon Coastal Waters. / Dunn, Paul; Shanks, Alan.

In: Journal of Shellfish Research, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2012, p. 835-839.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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