Wrangle up some Outer Banks crabs with the kids this Saturday at the Crabbing Rodeo!

Pea Island Annual Crab Rodeo

This Saturday, June 11 from 9 a.m.until noon head out to Pea Island Wildlife Refuge for the Annual Crabbing and Fishing Rodeo. Every year local and vacationing families alike, look forward to the festivities. The event is sponsored annually by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society .

"North Pond is often just loaded with crabs," said Bonnie Strawser, Refuge Interpretive Specialist. "But, we manage it primarily for migratory birds. So the pond, itself, is closed to people year-round. To celebrate National Fishing Week, we open it once a year for fishing and crabbing. Some years, folks pull crabs out by the bushels.... other years, they just catch a few crabs. You just never know! But, we have a lot of people who have been every year since the very beginning- more than 20 years ago."

Participants are encouraged to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, food, drink, and chairs. Make sure to arrive before 9 a.m. to register. Bring a bucket or cooler to transport your crabs home! And don't forget the fishing poles, string and chicken wings so you can wrangle in the catch of the day.

Success varies from year-to-year. Some years, almost everyone (sometimes as many as 500 people) takes home a full bucket of crabs. Some years, catch is much smaller. But, it's always a fun time for the entire family.

For more information, contact the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 252-987-2394.

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