WASHINGTON (AP) — If you come across a crab that looks like it’s wearing mittens, the Smithsonian wants to know.

Smithsonian researchers are tracking the spread of the Chinese mitten crab, named for their furry claws. The crabs pose a threat because they burrow into mud and other areas and can damage streambanks, dams, levees and water intake pipes.

They were first spotted in the Chesapeake in 2006 and researchers want to know what impact they are having on native crabs and the environment.

The Smithsonian says if you come across a mitten crab, don’t throw it back alive but freeze it or put it on ice, take a photo, note where it was found and contact them.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  1. Feebe says:

    Doesn’t the food industry know where most of there stock is coming from these days? They can help locate them.In any case check the hauls/docks. Let the crabbers crab. They’ll be able to tell ya where they aren’t crabbing

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