Crab Survey Down; More Restrictions for Watermen

An annual winter dredge survey of the Chesapeake Bay says a cold winter hurt the crab population. The survey shows the crab population is at 460-million, down from more than 650-million in last year’s survey. DNR says nearly one third of the bay’s adult crabs were lost to cold weather, compared to about 11-percent last year. State officials say the population is still at its second-highest level since 1997 and above target levels for the fishery. Officials say the harvest last year was also below the 46-percent target level set to maintain a healthy population. The numbers could mean more harvest restrictions as watermen start out for the beginning of crab season.

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