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AHH 24-Hr. News

Road Construction on West Front Street in Middletown Until Aug. 8
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Wall, NJ – New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) today announced that it is installing 1,500 feet of main on West Front Street in Middletown, between... Read More...
Matawan Contractor Admits Failing to Perform Work for Post-Sandy Victims
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Admits He Took Deposits for Work He Never Did FREEHOLD, NJ - A Matawan-based contractor pleaded guilty to accusations of theft admitting he accepted... Read More...
IMAGE Telling Their Story Through the Power of Art
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
PHOTO: Amanda's Easel Program Coordinator Cindi Westendorf (second from left) and Canterbury Art Show volunteers in the 2013 art show gallery of... Read More...
IMAGE The Community YMCA Kicks Off ‘Togetherhood’ Initiative with School Supply Drive to Benefit Kids Near and Far
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
PHOTO: Sahar Akbarzai of Old Bridge helps Y campers create a mural that will travel to Afghanistan along with school supplies being collected at... Read More...
IMAGE Assistance Available for Organic Certification Costs
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
TRENTON, NJ  – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture announced a partnership with the federal government to reduce organic certification... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Not the Kind of Anchovy You Put on Pizza
by Joe Reynolds
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
If someone were to ask you the question what’s the most abundant and frequently found fish in Lower New York Bay, including Raritan Bay and Sandy... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Lucy
by David Prown
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
I saw the new movie, "Lucy" the other day starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman and this movie is going to do well in the box office. Not... Read More...
IMAGE Adoption Involving Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
by Daniel J. Vance
Saturday, 26 July 2014
Laura Bloch adored his picture. “My husband and I had just been approved through an adoption agency and the agency sent out a letter with a picture... Read More...
IMAGE Is It The Shadow?
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 25 July 2014
“Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of man? (Hoo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!) The Shadow...” Starting in the 1930s, and extending well into... Read More...
IMAGE Spectator’s Observations
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 24 July 2014
During the World Cup, I watched as many games as possible. I watched them here at home, I watched a couple of games in Turkey where they were... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Mon Aug 04 @ 8:00PM -
Middletown Township Committee Workshop Meeting
Tue Aug 05 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp
Wed Aug 06 @ 3:00PM - 04:30PM
Free Summer Mini-Camp
Thu Aug 07 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Prostate Cancer Network- US TOO meets
Fri Aug 08 @ 7:30AM -
“Half Day Fluke Fishing” Cruise

joe_reynoldsSpring is coming on strong now. Everything seems to be growing and bursting forth in triumph. Along the water's edge in Lower New York Bay including Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, and the Navesink River, Horseshoe crabs are arising out of the water in great numbers to spawn.

The end of May and early June is the height of Horseshoe Crab spawning. Soon after the herring have migrated upstream to release their eggs, adult Horseshoe Crabs begin to magically appear out of the water at their favorite beaches or mud flats to produce another generation. The spawning season tends to peak at night around the new and full moons; and when water temperatures first rise above 55 degrees. These conditions let know the Horseshoe Crab that it's time to lay eggs.

For at least 350 million years, instinct takes over in the spring for the Horseshoe Crab. They travel on the bottom of the water, sometimes over hundreds of miles from the Continental Shelf, to arrive to coastal beaches to satisfy their need to breed.

Single females swim inshore around the tip of Sandy Hook or Breezy Point. They are followed by males. Wandering females stay unattached for only a short time. Males, which outnumber females by at least 5 to 1, will compete for a female's attention. The winner will latch onto the back-end of the female with their hook-like arms. As the female moves around the shallow waters of the bay making circular tracks in the sand, she will drag the male along. Once a nesting site has been settled on by the female Horseshoe crab, she will burrow into the wet sand and lay up to 1,000 eggs, which the male will fertilize. A single female Horseshoe Crab will lay eggs in three to ten nests sites within the inter-tidal zone.

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So if you plan on walking around the bay beaches and mud flats around Lower New York Bay over the next few weeks, watch out! As the Horseshoe Crabs spawn, they are sometimes hardly visible. All you might see is a large lump of sand or some strange marks on the beach. Look closely, though, as part of the male will show. You will see the crab's unmistakable body - a spiny long tail and even perhaps a horseshoe helmet-like shell. Brush away some sand and you might even feel the shell of the female too.

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Empty sand holes or depressions in the sand could indicate places where these bay creatures have laid their pale-green clusters of eggs. Leave them alone as well! If exposed to the air or the sun, the eggs will dry up and wither away. If all goes well, in about two weeks, the eggs will hatch will tiny newly born Horseshoe Crabs that will bring fresh life to Lower New York Bay.

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Watch where you step and if you see a mating pair of Horseshoe Crabs, please do not pick them up. If you handle a single Horseshoe crab, please do not pick up the crab by its fragile tail. The delicate hinge connecting the tail to the body will not support the crab's weight and the tail will break off. A Horseshoe Crab will then lose an important tool to navigate in the water and on the beach.

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It is best to just let the crabs be for the next few weeks. Let them get on with their job of laying eggs and propagating new life, as they have been doing for over 350 million years. This is an important occasion for Horseshoe Crabs. Spring spawning time is the very backbone of their survival.