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caption: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife technician April Fleming holds a European green crab captured in Lummi Bay in September.
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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife technician April Fleming holds a European green crab captured in Lummi Bay in September.
Credit: Amy Linhart / Washington Sea Grant

60K green crabs captured in Washington waters so far in 2022 ... that's a lot

State wildlife officials say more than 60,000 European green crabs have been captured in Washington state waters so far in 2022.

That is far more than what they captured and killed by this time last year.

The green crab is a small, but voracious predator that can quickly damage native shellfish populations and salmon habitat.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared an emergency over the crab invasion in January and authorized $8 million to kill the crabs.

The green crab population has reached its highest levels in an aquaculture pond on the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham. The Lummi Nation has used state funds to expand its team of dedicated crab trappers.

Read more of KUOW's coverage of Puget Sound's green crab issue: