The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is investigating a Chattahoochee River mystery that has a lot of people scratching their heads.
Hundreds of blue crabs, a salt-water delicacy native to the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, were discovered Sunday night along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk in Bibb City.
“It’s an odd situation,” said DNR Game Warden Ethan Franklin, who investigated it Monday morning. “It is curious and we are trying to figure out who dumped them there.”
DNR started the investigation as a fish kill when biologists for the department were alerted, Franklin said.
Crabs such as the ones along the riverbank are much more likely to be found in restaurants. The market price for blue crabs in Panama City Beach on Monday was about $4 per pound. There were easily more than 1,000 of them, Franklin said. Because the crabs were whole, it could have been more than 500 pounds, bringing their value to about $2,000.
If the person who dumped the crabs is found, they could possibly face a littering citation, Franklin said.
The Chattahoochee River Conservancy was also investigating the crab dump, Executive Director Henry Jackson said.
“We got a call from someone who was walking their dog on the RiverWalk and ran up on them,” Jackson said. “It was in the Bibb Pond area and started at a covered bridge. As you walked upstream there were crabs in just about every little crease for three-quarters of a mile.”
The blue crabs were likely dead when they were dumped, Franklin said. The game wardens suspects they were dumped sometime Sunday afternoon.
By Monday, the crabs were giving off quite a stench, Franklin said, but posed no environmental concerns.
If anyone has any information about the crab dump, they are urged to call the DNR Ranger Hotline at 1 800-241-4113.