Chesapeake Bay’s Crab Population Hits Four-Year High, Survey Finds

"Modest loosening of catch limits possible, fishery managers say, but tally of females still below target"

"The [Chesapeake] Bay’s blue crab population increased to its highest level in four years, and the number of spawning-age females — a key ingredient for future abundance — nearly doubled from last year, according to survey results released Tuesday.

Results from the annual winter dredge survey conducted by Maryland and Virginia put the Bay’s crab population at 553 million, a 35 percent increase from last year’s tally, and the greatest number seen in the Chesapeake since 2012.

Fishery managers in both states said the good news may warrant some loosening of harvest restrictions imposed during recent low years, but cautioned against expecting large changes."

Karl Blankenship reports for the Bay Journal April 12, 2016.

Source: Bay Journal, 04/14/2016