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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Storm-driven


Yes!  We found an entire Pelagic Red Crab (Pleuroncodes planipes)!  This one was washed ashore on Salmon Creek Beach on 18 February 2016.  (It appeared to be a molt.)

Last fall, on 19 October 2015 (review that post here), we discovered two Pelagic Red Crab claws, but this is the first time we've found a whole Pelagic Red Crab (also known as a Tuna Crab) in Bodega Bay.

This species rarely makes it to Northern California.  It's only happened in a few warm-water years.  I did a quick search on the Internet tonight, and it sounds like Pelagic Red Crabs might have been spotted in Washington in December 2015, but we'll have to inquire about whether that record has been confirmed.

It's been stormy recently.  Wave heights were about 16 feet tonight.  Winds were mostly from the southeast, veering towards west late in the day.  Rain showers have been sliding by, bringing ~0.5 inch of rain during the last two days.  Here are a couple of pictures of today's conditions:




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