Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chesapeake Crabs Doing OK, Sorta

The annual survey that predicts the health of the crab fishery is in, and it's one of those good news, bad news sort of things. First the good news: Chesapeake Bay crabs are back, females at all-time high
The Maryland Blue Crab is back, potentially opening the door to changes in how many can be caught and efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said that its winter survey found a record level of spawning females. In fact, they found more than are even considered healthy for the habitat.

The overall stock was not as well off:
Blue crab numbers dropped by nearly one-fifth this year in the Chesapeake Bay, according to a new survey that presents a mixed outlook for the key crustacean.
The bad news is that the recruitment last year was low, and so the number of juvenile crabs expected to mature into late season keepers is down:
But troubles await during the second half of the season — from August onward. At that point, this year's juvenile crabs are expected to be large enough for keeping, but their numbers slipped 54 percent to the fourth-lowest total on record, the survey found.
And that's kind of how crabs go, up and down for no obvious reason, although it's thought that weather at recruitment time is important.

Wombat-socho is back on time and within budget with "Rule 5 Sunday: Hyundai Race Queens."

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