Maryland set to kick off crabbing season

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Sunday will mark the opening of recreational crab season in the Old Line State.  Marylanders can crab without a license, but with certain restrictions. 

Dave Blazer, the Director of Fishing and Boating for Maryland says depending on how much you want to catch and how you prefer to catch crabs, you may want to invest in a license.

A recreational crab license can net you up to two dozen crabs, a bushel of male hard crabs per day.  If you plan to use a trotline, collapsible traps, net rings, or seines you would also need a license.  You can pick a license up at a licensing service area or a local bait and tackle shop.

Asked whether the mild winter would affect the crab population, Blazer says it is a wait-and-see situation. 

"Because crabs live a very short period of time, we get the Winter Dredge Survey.  It's kind of a good predictor of the season.  If it's gonna be good, we might loosen up some of the regulations," said Blazer.  "If it's bad  we can also kind of cut back in an effort to conserve and protect the resource."

The winter dredge report will come out July 1.

"We're optimistic, but we want to wait until we see the data from the winter dredge survey before we make any tweaks.  And hopefully that will be within about three or four weeks, we'll get a better indication of where we need to go this year," Blazer concluded.

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