ANNAPOLIS — The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces modifications to the recreational male hard crab catch and possession limits for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries for April through June 2023.
These limits apply to recreational crabbers. Effective 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2023, male hard crab catch and possession limits for individuals on a vessel are:1 bushel of male crabs per licensed boat with any number of licensed or unlicensed individuals on board;
1 bushel of male crabs on an unlicensed boat with one or more licensees and any number of unlicensed individuals;
4 dozen male crabs on an unlicensed boat with two or more unlicensed individuals on board; and
2 dozen male crabs on an unlicensed boat with one unlicensed individual on board.
These limits apply to recreational crabbing on vessels in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, including the Maryland tributaries of the Potomac River. This change does not affect recreational crabbing from shore in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.
This change also does not affect recreational crabbing from shore or on a vessel in the Atlantic Ocean, its coastal bays, or their tributaries.
Department officials state that this action is necessary to ensure male blue crab harvest does not exceed the Chesapeake Bay male conservation trigger referenced in Amendment 2 to the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan. The male hard crab catch and possession limits are based on results of the 2022 winter crab dredge survey conducted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and consultation with advisory groups and stakeholders.
I haven't been able to find a copy of the regs from last year; they seem to have updated all the usual links, but it must be a substantial decrease in the limit for the recreational anglers as it is being highly publicized.The Wombat has Rule 5 Monday: Lana Turner up at The Other McCain.