MARYLAND - Governor Martin O'Malley announced on Thursday that the blue crab population has broken a record. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources annual winter dredge survey revealed that the Chesapeake Bay's juvenile blue crab population is at the highest level on record. The overall blue crab population is at its highest level since 1993.
According to the survey nearly 66 percent more crabs than last year spent the winter in the bay. The number of juvenile crabs, not only beat the record but tripled from last year. The survey did have one note of caution, the number of spawning-age females dropped from last year, but is still above the safe threshold level.
There are many reasons contributing to these improved numbers including daily catch limits, closed periods, and the warm winter. O'Malley's 2013 capital budget includes more than $211 million in funding to continue to help the Chesapeake Bay, including $8 million for oyster recovery.