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Horseshoe Crabs...full moon


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I see that the there is a full moon next Thurs May 31.

It's a Blue moon, the 2nd full moon of the month.

I have heard that Great Bay NH is a good place to witness the phenomenon of hundreds or thousands of crabs coming on shore.

Has anybody seen this before ? I'm thinking the Wagon Hill area?

Also I was wondering if it is on the flood tide or ebb tide or does it not matter.

.and of course I'm wondering if anyone is going to be checking it out this year...?

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Just called the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and asked.


The crabs apparently come up onto the shale beaches during high tides, particularly in June. They recommended the islands between Adams Point and the Lamprey River for good viewing during either high tide. Wilcox Point was also mentioned but nothing was said about the full moon being a big deal. That would be a great time to be out there but I think they would be easier to see during the day.

If you are going out at night the bioluminous plankton & comb jellies are starting to light up the waters with each paddle stroke.

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yes I have seen this....not with the crabs on shore, but rather near low tide....there are thousands of them in the 6" of water. Most are paired up and mating. It's an unbelieveable site to see. I also saw dozens of stripers cruising the mud flats the same day. I saw this mid-June last year on a Sunday afternoon. I was directly across from the mouth of the Lamprey on the mud flats.

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Well we just went with a group from PIK to see the horseshoe crabs along the Parker River refuge yesterday(5-28-07) and while we didn't see a lot of them We did learn more about them than I ever would have by myself.

Some of which I hope I remembered correctly.

The species is one of the oldest on the planet, estimated at aprox 250 million years old. the female lays upwards of 30,000 eggs of which there is about an 90 to 95% mortality rate.

It is on the high tides when they come ashore to lay their eggs. It is on the full moon that the tides are the highest and many will key into that particular tide as the crabs can lay their eggs in higher dry land with a greater hoped for success rate that the eggs will not be washed away till the next full moon when the eggs will hatch and tiny thumb sized crabs will make a dash for the water (at least those that have survived till that time)

June is probabbly the best month for Great Bay.

Horseshoe crabs are not crabs at all but members of the Spider family...who would have guessed?

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