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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wandered about the beach last weekend around the Ft. Macon public access area and could not find a single sand flea. Some of the regulars down there said they were plentiful in the Spring. I am clueless towards the life cycle of a sand flea. Are they seasonal? Anyone know of an area in AB where they might be found... other than the B&T shop?
 

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According to my Dad who lives in PKS, there was a lot of beach renourishment that went on down there since the hurricanes last year. I think that may have something to do with it. Someone who is more knowledged than I may be able to elaborate.
 

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I'm no expert but a marine biologist friend of mine said she thinks it has more to do with the hurricane or storm surge itself than the beach renourishment that follows. She did allow for the fact that both may divert normal marine critters like mole crabs from the area. Her point being that storm surge alone will can cause mole crabs and certain other crustaceans to disappear for a while till the environmental factors they prefer return.
 

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What happens a lot of times during storms and beach renourishment (according to what I have read written by biologists) is that they get buried too deep and many of them die. If beach renourishment is done slowly a thin layer at a time it doesn't have as great of an effect overall. It seems odd to me that they couldn't just dig their way out but normally a biologist will not make a statement about something of that nature unless it has been studied and documented. I'll see if I can find some of thelinks to the more relevant NC studies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did a brief search on mole crabs and came up with a lot of scientific information but didn't really see any "cause and effect" for attrition or any other local data.

I'll be staying a little further down coast this weekend, between AB and PKS, and I'll take a peak to see if any are there. I sure would love to bust some Pompano.
 

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The storm surge carries off most of the loose sand and you end up with "hard pack" left behind. The mole crabs live in the loose sand where they can drill down to get away from predators.

In either case (hard pack or dredged sand) they don't have the conditions they need to thrive in large numbers. Beach renourshiment usually follows storm surge, so they may not return till both have run the cycle. Without renourishment their natural habitat will return quicker for sure. I have witnessed this at Lea Island which is uninhabited and for the most part unfettered by man's intervention. I think renourishment delays that process but seems the storm surge caused it in the first place, at least this is my take based on my limited observations.

Sinkerman - that is an interesting observation about them getting buried. I had not heard that before - I always thought the storm surge swept them away along with the sand they lived in. Interesting. Thanks for the info.
 

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I am not certain how much sand this takes or how much it actually happens that way. It has been awhile since I read that and could only find bits and pieces of the study being quoted. Here is a link that gives a quick summary of the subject. (Most of the stuff I have read has way too much background and jargon for the avg person to bother with.)
http://www.fws.gov/nc-es/ecoconf/ppeterson%20abs.pdf
 

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My family has a place at Sandbridge (Va. Beach) that has had several replenishemnts over the last several years. I have noticed that the mole crabs tend to go away for a while after the replenishment. There was a replenishment right before I got there for Labor day and there were no crabs. Hardy little suckers had made a comeback after the last replenishement a couple of years ago.
 

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I was fishing the surf this weekend at Salter Path and didn't see any sand fleas either. It has been some time since I have found them. I hope they'll make a come-back soon.

Hi KGwest,

How was the surf fishing at Salter Path? I am staying at Salter Path this weekend and wanted to give the surf a try.How did you do?

Jim
 
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