Story mistated results of crab dredging

The article “Virginia moves to restrict blue crab dredging” (January-February Bay Journal) contained an important factual error related to the statement: “The dredge industry tends to catch larger adult males in deeper waters.” Actually, the dredge industry’s catch is comprised almost totally of female crabs caught from relatively shallow waters in the lower Bay. A limit catch of 75 bushels (25 barrels) routinely includes less than one bushel (less than 1.3 percent) male crabs.

D.R. Wheeler
Director of Water Quality
Hampton Roads Sanitation District

Call to ban tree shelters overstates the problem

I wish to take issue with a letter from David Pardoe that appeared in the January-February issue of the Bay Journal concerning the outlawing of plastic seedling shelters.

We have used these extensively in my area of Virginia and have not found bird mortality to be a problem. We have installations of these protective tubes with the top plastic netting and without. In either case we have yet to find extensive bird mortality.

If this is a problem in some parts of the mid-Atlantic region, then I suggest that we develop an alternative protective covering for the top of the seedling shelter. Calling for the prohibition of these valuable resource tools is too radical a remedy at this stage of the debate.

As with any other resource profession, we in the forestry community are very sensitive to the value of all the flora and fauna of our natural world. I feel confident that a solution will soon be found to remedy this situation.

Joseph L. Lehnen
Virginia Department of Forestry