Data from: Timing and route of migration of mature female blue crabs in a tidal estuary
Eggleston, David B. (2015), Data from: Timing and route of migration of mature female blue crabs in a tidal estuary, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.33mb8
Information on migration patterns is critical to using no-take migratory corridors and marine reserves to protect the spawning stock of commercially exploited species. Both active and passive acoustic tracking methods quantified movement of commercially and ecologically important blue crabs in the White Oak River estuary, NC, USA. We targeted post-mating female crabs migrating down-estuary to oceanic spawning grounds. Crabs travelled approximately 14.1 km mainly in deeper channels and over 12–26 days from mating areas to spawning grounds. No crabs were detected migrating down-estuary in the autumn and only 30% were detected migrating down-estuary in spring. None of the crabs detected near spawning grounds were detected or recaptured back up-estuary, suggesting that they either (i) do not return to the estuary after a one to two week period in the spawning area or (ii) were captured by fishermen. The results from this study demonstrate that (1) acoustic transmitters coupled with passive acoustic receivers provided reliable and valuable data on migration patterns of mature female blue crabs and (2) mature female blue crabs are capable of migrating primarily within deep channels to spawning grounds shortly after insemination.