Crabbing at Manaco Beach Camano Island 1996 to 2004

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Crabbing at Manaco Beach, Camano Island, has been getting better over the years. In my youth (late 1950's), I'd put pots out and get very few crabs. Now, there is either more crabs, or I'm crabbing better, probably both. Lot of things have changed at the Manaco Beach tidelands, now there's fewer species of bottom fish, and the ghost shrimp have disappeared, but there's smelt, and moon snails, which I never saw until a few year ago. Also more seals, eagles, herons, river otters, cockle clams and kingfisher birds. The clamming has always been plentiful, the beaches are healthy.

Louie Bloom, Sam the dog, and lots of Manaco Beach crab, on June 10, 2002

Below is a Manaco Beach crabbing photo from May 24, 2000 with my nephew in law Bob Lindenau.

Below is a Manaco Beach crabbing photo from December 12, 2000.

below are some crab reports i e-mailed to friends and relatives from 1996 to 2004

Sent: Monday, July 15, 1996 9:58 PM
Subject: crabs again
phillip and i baited the crab pots at 7:30 p.m. and we checked them at 8:30 p.m. we got two legal crabs and there were numerous smaller males. the coming season looks good, we'll check them again tomorrow.

Sent: Thursday, July 18, 1996 12:12 PM
Subject: wednesday crab report
there were about 20 legal crabs in the two pots last night, i left most in the pots for tomorrow.

From: Sara Bloom
To: louis bloom
Subject: Re: nov 29 crab report
Date: Monday, December 02, 1996 4:45 AM
Dear Uncle Louie,
Good to know you got some crabs. My friends here (Tanzania) think it is weird that I get a crab report from my Uncle but I guess for me it doesn't seem that strange. Did I tell you I drank goats blood at a Massai village party? You may not want to post that one, though, because people might think your niece is a vampire. It made for a pretty gory picture. Anyway, I better go and work on papers. I can't believe I am coming home so soon. I can't wait to get out of this heat. All else is well. Bye for now, Love, Niece Sara

Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 1997 8:22 PM
Subject: april 2nd crab report
greg and danny and i, checked the crab pots. there was 6 in konans pot, 5 in one of mine, and zero in the other, 11 crabs total. on april 15th the crabbing ends until july 15th.

Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 1998 12:11 PM
Subject: feb 24, 1998 crab report
phillip and i checked the crab pots. there were 10 to 12 crabs in each pot. over 20 crabs total. we kept only the very big ones and gave some to the old neighbor morriseys. greg and marianne were here last night. they're still sitting so close to each other, that a flea would would suffocate. they're looking for acreage property to buy on camano island. phillip is going to make ma and i, a cholesterol and salt breakfast. (eggs, bacon, buttered toast)

Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 1998 8:23 PM
Subject: july 29 crab report and and weigh-in
phillip and i checked the crab pots. there were 2 in one pot and 1 in the other. 3 crabs total. there are lots of people at the house, so we had another weigh-in. i weigh 189.5 lbs, fr. joe tyson weighs 159 lbs, phillip weighs 154 lbs, ma says she weighs less than last time, marianne weighs 159 lbs, greg wouldn't weigh-in, tonya weighs 147 lbs, bumper weighs 42 lbs, rachael weighs 20 lbs, alex weighs 198 lbs, and melanie says she wishes she weighed 135 lbs.

Sent: Saturday, September 04, 1999 4:31 PM
Subject: sept 3 & 4 crab & smelt reports
mike and i checked the pots last night. there were 7 crabs in one pot and zero in the other, 7 crabs total. mike thinks phillip and the churchladies somehow fouled up the zero pot. greg and i checked the pots today and there were 2 in one and 5 in the other, 7 crabs total. mike and i talked to a new "manaco beacher", dave nass, who said he saw smelt yesterday between manaco and cama beach. we have not seen smelt in our beach area for the 42 years we've been here. greg, mike and i decided to try smelting at manaco today, and greg was able to get 5 smelt, and we were able to see smelt cruising along the beach. we rowed the boat to another possible smelt beach, but didn't get any smelt at the other beach. there was a total of over 700 lbs. of weight in my 10 foot boat, and parker the dog was worried about us, but we did ok.

Sent: Monday, July 24, 2000 12:54 AM
Subject: july 23 crab pot report
today was a birthday party, at melanies, for my 84 year old aunt katie satushek, (ma's sister) i checked the pots in the afternoon with cousins kathie, francis, summer, orion, and sonya. there were 4 crabs in one pot and 5 in the other, 9 crabs total. phillip and i checked the pots before dark, and there were zero in each pot.

Sent: Friday, August 25, 2000 11:11 PM
Subject: august 25 crab & shrimp pot report
mike and i checked the crab pots this morning. there were 6 in konans pot, 4 in another pot and zero in the last pot. 10 crabs total. konan and karen put out a shrimp pot yesterday at approximately 100 feet deep. konan and karen checked the shrimp pot tonight and there were 4 big shrimp and two bullhead fish that had eaten some other shrimp in the pot. karen is from georgia, goes to Mount Holyoke College, and met konan in germany while they were both exchange students. konan and i ate the shrimp, they were good, but karen didn't eat any because she doesn't like seafood. why would some girl fly across the country, (free because her mother works for an airline), to go crabbing and shrimping with konan, when she doesn't like seafood?
(Mount Holyoke College, at South Hadley, Mass.; founded 1837. The oldest institution of higher education for women in the U.S. It offers a broad liberal arts curriculum and grants graduate degrees through a consortium of schools.)

Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 10:49 PM
Subject: june 11 crab report
phillip and i checked the pots today. there were zero in one pot and 4 in the other. four crabs total. crabbing opened on saturday, and we got 24 crabs over the weekend, including today. crabbing will be opened 4 days a week, friday, saturday, sunday and monday. there should be crabs for the satushek-bloom get together on saturday. here's a link to a good wa dept of fisheries website about mainly dungeness crabs at according to another website, the 6.25 inch crabs we catch are between 3 and 5 years old and they can live to between 8 and 13 years old. louie

Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2001 12:22 PM
Subject: july 3 crab report
melanie and i checked the pots on sunday and got 9 crabs. phillip and i checked the pots on monday and tuesday and got 5 crabs each day. the seattle times said that crabbing is open 7 days a week now, although i haven't seen it on the fish and wildlife webpage, and their phone hotline was busy. i left the pots out. the bouys have mike and phillip's name on them, and i figure that if crabbing is closed, maybe mike and phillip could get a ticket and fine, but they probably wouldn't have to go to jail.

Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 7:59 PM
Subject: august 5 & 7 crab report
tonya and i checked the pots on sunday, we got 6 crabs. phillip and i checked the pots today and got 7 crabs. tonya is 5 months pregnant and has a good rowing technique, but doesn't have a power stroke. I had to finish the rowing for her. tonya will be on camano for a month, and has rachael 4.5 years, gabriel 2.9 years and sara 11 months. i showed rachael my belly and asked her, "do you think i'm going to have a boy or a girl?" she said "no, you can't have a baby, you don't have a uterus."

Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 11:03 PM
Subject: june 10 2002 crab report
crabbing is open friday, saturday, sunday, and monday.
i put the pots out on sunday night, and phillip, melanie, sam the dog and i checked and brought in the pots on monday afternoon. there were around 15 crabs in one pot and 6 in the other. we kept 15 crabs. here is a link to todays crabbing pictures.
today lawrence and i had our 53rd birthday. after we were born, pa saw an arlington neighbor, bert oberg, who had three daughters, and bert wanted a son. pa already had 3 sons. bert asked pa, "well, i suppose mary had another boy." pa told him "no, she had two."

Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 3:27 PM
Subject: july crabbing
crabbing has been declining. july 11-14, approximately 20 crabs. july 18-21, i didn't feel like putting out the pots. july 25-28, approximately 15 crabs. aug 1-4, approximately 12 crabs.

Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 3:51 PM
Subject: june 11-14 crab report
crabbing opened in the manaco beach area on friday june 11. melanie and i got 7 crabs on friday, 5 crabs on saturday, 9 crabs on sunday, and 6 crabs on monday. 27 crabs total. i bought $14 worth of chicken at $1.18 a pound to put in the crab pots. i need some "on sale" $.59 a pound chicken, or turkey

Below is a short dungeness crab article from a taylor shellfish brochure.