Invasive crab species found in waters off Olympic Peninsula

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- Resource managers say trapping is critical for halting the spread of an invasive crab species that has been found in waters across the northern side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.

The Peninsula Daily News reports the European green crab has now been found in the Tsoo-Yess River in Neah Bay, in the Graveyard Spit in Dungeness and in the waters of Kala Point near Port Townsend.

The invasive crab competes with native species like the Dungeness crab. Resource managers say female green crabs can release hundreds of thousands of larvae per brood at least once a year.

Crab Team program manager Emily Grason, a marine ecologist with Washington Sea Grant, says it is important to act now "to avoid allowing populations to increase dramatically."