Monday, November 2, 2020

Maryland Extends Sook Season

Maria Meinke and Sara Salt
For those not in the region and familiar with the lingo, a sook is what we call a mature female crab. Maryland DNR: Commercial Blue Crab Catch Limits Extended Through Nov. 7

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is extending the October bushel limits on Chesapeake Bay mature female hard crabs that can be harvested by commercial watermen by one week, through Nov. 7. These bushel limits were originally issued by public notice effective July 1, 2020.

Bushel limits vary by license type and time of year. The full list can be found on the department’s Fishing and Boating Services public notice page.


The Chesapeake Bay regulations as previously posted will resume Nov. 8, and those reduced catch limits will continue until Nov. 30.

The season for catching crabs in the Maryland Coastal Bays is extended from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30 for male and female crabs.

No harvest of female blue crabs is allowed in Maryland beginning Dec. 1.

FYI, male and female crabs show different behavior as winter approaches, although the exact timing depends on the weather.  Female crabs migrate toward the mouth of the bay, where they will release their eggs in spring. They are pretty consistently fished commercially as they make the journey. Male crabs migrate to deeper waters where they dig into the sediment to overwinter.

The fact that they are extending the season this year suggests that the crabs are moving slowly this year.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Carla Gugino ready at The Other McCain.

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