Ninety Nine Ghost Crab Pots Out Of the Water

The Ghost Crab Pot Round Up Day Two and Final

Delaware Sea Grant and the University of Delaware with the help of the Center For The Inland Bays gathered at Warwick Park on Monday for the last day to remove more ghost crab pots. Thirty five were collected on Monday.

Diamond back terrapin found alive in a ghost crab pot. there were 12 found in one pot dead


DNREC Fish and Wildlife sent their folks to help out and be on site so the crews can legally pull these pots. Yes the Delaware crab pot laws still apply to ghost crab pots, yes a little crazy but understandable. The DNREC crews worked as hard as the volunteers. Big thanks to everyone for volunteering.

Consumer grade side-imaging fish-finders used to find ghost crab pots.

Ninety nine ghost crab pots were removed in the two days out of the three. Due to permit restrictions for time and volunteers. The window to do a third day was not possible. Still a lot of good work was done and ready for future projects. Twelve dead diamond back terrapin were found in one pot, one was found alive. It was rescued and released. Kate Fleming …. “Inside the pots we were seeing the usual suspects for Indian River – sheepshead, oyster toadfish, and blue crabs, but we also came across a horseshoe crab which I thought was pretty unexpected, and a couple pots with diamondback terrapins. Of course we know these pots are a huge threat to the terrapins, but we don’t always see evidence of them because they (terrapin) break down so quickly. In one case, we noted a pot that had 12 of these guys (terrapins) inside (one of which was actually still alive!). So not that we needed a reminder of why we do this work, but we got one today “

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The area of the Indian River in front of Rosedale beach and Warwick park is roughly 850 acres and contains 700 possible ghost crab pots.

The area these ghost crab pots were collected for two days is roughly around eight hundred and fifty acres. There are possibly seven hundred ghost crab pots in this area. The sonars were used to find and mark possible crab posts.

twelve dead diamond back terrapins found in the mud of a ghost crab pot

There are over four hundred definite ghost crab pots and the rest are “possibles”. These usually tend to be some sort of crab pot, or what is left of one. That may seem like a large area, but it really isn’t.
One of the researchers is hoping to be able to determine how many are left out each year by comparing scans. If the funding is approved to do this yearly then it will help remove a great deal of these ghost crab pots.
Boaters interested can still sign up for a permit to remove the ghost crab pots on their own until the end of February.


I hope this project continues each year. There is a lot of work to be done is such a small area. I can’t imagine the amount of pots in front of Pot Nets and other inland bay communities.

Ghost Crab Pot Round Up Information

Ghost Crab Pot Round Up Day One

Delaware Sea Grant Seeks Boater Volunteers For Locating Ghost Crab Pots And Removal

2022 Derelict Crab Pot Round-Up Sign Ups In Indian River

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