Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Crab Test Spreadsheet

The Times- Standard has a story on domoic acid levels in local dungeness crab. I rarely eat crab but I was still a bit leery of claims the crab are safe now. After all, how many crab do they sample to determine domoic acid levels? Just one or two crabs tested wouldn't make me feel comfortable eating them. 

Kudos to the Times- Standard for providing a link to a spreadsheet (pdf file) showing number of crabs tested per area and their levels of domoic acid. It looks like Eureka area crab are ok with 20 tested and no domoic acid detectable. The southern waters are of concern with 24 of the crab near Fort Bragg tested and a number of them, but not all, exceeding safe levels. The same looks true for Bodega and Half Moon bays. 

You'll hopefully be able to know the origin of whatever crab you buy and we should keep in mind most crab from Bodega and Half Moon bays are ok. They just have a larger percentage of crab with excessive levels- the problem being you won't be able to tell which crabs have excessive levels by looking at them.

Not sure if I've mentioned this before but I've been wondering who figured out crabs could be toxic and why? I'm sure indians ate crab back in the day before testing. I wonder if they had a tradition of not eating crab during certain times of year, with prior experience of illness. Or did they know the illness was from crab?  At what point did we figure the relationship between eating crab and poisoning and thus start testing?

I always wonder about the historical origins of stuff like this. Another question was brought up by a nurse installng a PICC line in me at UCSF: Who and how did someone figure out artichokes were good to eat? You wouldn't know it by looking at them.


At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skepticism is good unless one never yields to reason or it turns into cynacism. Good to know the domonic levels are considered low enough enough to be safe.

Thanks for posting.

I wish we still had a large fish catch here in Eureka. What was it like in the 70s Fred? I like to hear stories about what the ocean used to produce locally.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

Lets just say gravity flows down hill....

Humans dump it's shit and waste and toxins into the ocean that marine life begins to absorb in various methodologies...

Ya, seafood no good.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I don't have much in the way of personal experiences as far as big catches, but I do remember back then driving out Myrtle Avenue to my house on Pigeon Point Road and seeing cars parked all along the road with people fishing for salmon in the Eureka slough. I didn't see it but a roommate came home once telling of seeing a guy carrying a huge salmon (or steelhead?) to his car parked on Myrtle Avenue.

I used to fish a lot back in the late '70s/ early '80s at what used to be the floating dock at the end of Del Norte Street and saw salmon jump out of the bay on occasion.

I never caught any in the bay. The first and only time I actually went salmon fishing was when I was invited along by the late Jack Whelihan in his boat. That was pretty neat and the water off the north spit was calm and so clear it seemed you could see the bottom. I caught one or two silver salmon that day. It wasn't hard. Just drop your line and you'd catch one, eventually. You'd get an anchovy, put a hook through it and troll it behind the boat.

I spent most of my fishing time, once I had a car, at the north jetty fishing for rockfish. Didn't do all that well there. Nor did anyone I was with. Maybe because we did it wrong. We just used old frozen anchovies. Even if they stayed on the hook, most fish didn't seem to care for them, although a friend caught a large red snapper out there once.

Later on I tried something different: Jigging, where you get a lure, cast it off the rocks and bring it in a little at a time, pulling it up now and then to give it a bouncing motion. First time,second cast, I caught a decent sized ling cod, a first for me.

But talk about lots of fish, my first year up here I went up to Redwood National Park by Orick to go backpacking. Redwood Creek had a salmon run going on. You could see them moving up the river. I'd been under the impression you could just about catch them by hand when they headed up the river to spawn. Not at all.

I sharpened the end of a pole and went into the creek to try and spear one. I know, illegal. I went and stood in the middle of the creek hoping to spear one as it passed by. Didn't work. They'd get maybe within 15 feet of me and either turn around or rush by me real fast. I never got one.

We probably have less fish in the water now than we did back then, but I'm not sure. Hysterical environmentalists will tell us they're almost extinct and that the Eureka Slough doesn't have fish in it anymore. Yet I remember a few years ago reading a story in the Times- Standard about the fish count up at Freshwater Park, east up Eureka Slough. They have a fish ladder there, or some such, and counted a whole bunch going through it. Made me think there's probably more fish out there than the environmentalists would admit, even now.

I remember, too, when in the National Guard, we'd go out to McKay Tract, back behind Redwood Acres. You'd see kids who lived nearby fishing the small streams and even walking down the road with some decent sized trout. I was surprised as those steams were more like creeks with not a lot of water in them. I didn't think they could support fish.

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stories Fred. Thanks for sharing.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember when I was a young pup in the 60's dad used to love going to Lazio's and he would have the seafood platter. It was huge and everything you could think of on it and reasonably priced. In the seventies it seemed they started cutting back on portions and charging more and we quit going.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your memories, Fred, thanks for sharing!
We used to fish off the pier, but those little sharks were about all we'd ever catch. It was fun though.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

Surely the pulp mill effluents decreased salmonoid populations.....dolphins too.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

Yep, after the gold standard went sour.


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