Cold Start For Maryland Blue Crab Season - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Cold Start For Maryland Blue Crab Season

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. -- Maryland Blue Crab season is officially underway. April 1st marks the day that watermen can start pulling crabs out of the water. However, cold water temperatures will likely keep the them in hiding for a while.

Usually, in the case of a slow start, Maryland retailers and crab houses can source their crab from elsewhere until local waters warm up. This year, however, Maryland is not alone in its cold water woes. "I'm not hearing too much about anything happening anywhere -- the Gulf, Southeast, up through the Carolinas, and of course here," said Jack Brooks of J.M. Clayton Seafood in Cambridge.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says that water temperatures have been hovering in the low 40s, and they need to reach the mid-to-upper 50s for blue crabs to start moving into shallower waters.

The cold start comes after a fast and warm start last season. "We produced almost record numbers of small crabs, but the harvesters never saw those crabs last year," added Brooks.
Small crabs were abundant last year. Then came Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy drove water temperatures down and the crabs into hiding. They never came out, which was a bad sign for last year, but could be promising for this year. Those small crabs could still be out there, now juveniles just waiting, like the watermen, for the water to warm up.

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