Following weeks of scientific review and discussion among key stakeholders, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is making modest but important changes to the commercial harvesting of Chesapeake Bay female hard crabs later this season.
Harvesting will close Nov. 20, and bushel levels for the month of November will be reduced compared to the previous harvest year.
These modifications are based on the results of the 2016-17 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, and subsequent review and approval by the Blue Crab Industry Advisory Committee and Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission.
“Since the release of the winter dredge survey, experts have cautioned that a scarcity of juvenile crabs could result in more challenging harvest conditions later this year and next,” said Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “This decision is the result of partners in science and industry developing consensus to achieve what is best for the health and ongoing productivity of the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery.”
You can review the Public Notice here.