Written by Linc Bedrosian
DOVER — A little before 1 p.m. Thursday, the 32-foot crabbing vessel, Lauren Marie, chugged along the Leipsic River amid the swirling fog and pelting rain.
Like a well-oiled assembly line, brothers Larry and Leonard Voss, of Smyrna, and Trey Holland, of Dover, began to unload the day's offerings at the dock near Sambo's Tavern in Leipsic. They expertly tossed extra crab pots onto Leonard's truck, all the while ensuring that the 90 blue crabs couldn't escape from their bushels.
After being out on the water since the first lights struck at the horizon at 4 a.m., Leonard said the seven bushels of crabs is a less than favorable harvest.
Slow harvests have been indicative of the state's declining blue crab population. This season the numbers are down at least by 75 percent, he said. The low numbers have also caused the crab prices to skyrocket from around $80 a bushel to up to $130.
"It's not just us — it's up and down the whole coast from Georgia to New Jersey," Leonard Voss, 57, said.
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