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Local veterans confront a perennial enemy: green crabs

Brian McCutcheon traps green crabs by the bushel daily at the mouth of
Brian McCutcheon
Brian McCutcheon traps green crabs by the bushel daily at the mouth of Scorton Creek in Sandwich.

A Sandwich resident is rallying veterans to trap the invasive crabs by the bushel and sell them to local restaurants and bait shops.

SANDWICH—Some local veterans are waging a battle on a perennial Cape Cod enemy: green crabs.

The European species is among the most invasive in the water, with a reputation of destroying seagrass and preying on clams, as it infiltrates estuary habitat.

One hotspot is the mouth of Scorton Creek, Brian McCutcheon's favorite fishing hole. For months he's been trapping crabs by the bushel daily.

"My children know to pour some of my ashes right there," he said. "This area means a lot to me. And the amount of time that I spend out there fishing, you can just see that every year it's worse and every year there's more."

Though not a veteran himself, McCutcheon founded the nonprofit Wet Vet as a way of thanking them for their service. Wet Vet organizes free fishing charters for about 150 local veterans and first responders, many of whom are now helping McCutcheon pull crab duty.

"I love to be an underdog," he said. "Everybody tells me I'm crazy to think that I can slow down their progress. But I've got an army of veterans, too."

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.