Cold 2022 Horseshoe Crab Spawning Seas

Frank Dorsey

A solo horseshoe crab (HSC) showed up on May 13 at Shipyard Point this year when the water temperature had not yet reached 60?. By the time the temperature finally reached 60 on May 18 a total of only 21 animals had appeared (3 solo and 9 pairs). Then the temperature fell again and no animals appeared for two days. That pattern continued with peaks, valleys, and some no-HSC days until June 6.

There were two periods of relative HSC abundance, with a maximum of 62 observed. 

The cold temperatures may explain the lower number observed this year and the lowest peak day observed in the last four years. A comparison of these last four years (2019–2022) to the first four years (2001–2004) suggests a stable population is still breeding annually on Shipyard Point.