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Author Topic: Recreatinal crabbing in Virginia  (Read 41350 times)
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crabincrazy
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« on: April 28, 2004, 01:41:29 PM »

Can anyone help me out  with the regulations for recreational crabbing in Virginia.  I am heading to Virginia Beach in June and was wondering if I should drag the boat and equipment with me.  I normally crab the Wye.
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2004, 07:23:31 PM »

  Where are you coming from?  Huh Grin
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2004, 07:46:03 PM »

Here is the link to the rules.  Basically you can use a dip net and bait or two crab pots to catch up to 1 bu or 2 doz peelers per vessel per day or per person (on the shore) per day.  You can also use two crab pots per person without a license sam possession limits.  There is a 5 inch minimum on male crabs and immature female crabs (triangle apron) but no minimum size on mature female crabs (round apron).  3 1/2 inch minimum on soft crabs.

Crab pots must have cull rings.

Now for the confusion.   The rule on the link says that no crab pots are allowed in the blue crab sancturary between June 1 to Sept 15.  which is pretty extensive within the bay.  However, they voted changed that last year and there is a regulation that says that 4 VAC 20-670-30. GEAR RESTRICTIONS.
C. Any law or chapter applying to the setting or fishing of commercial gill nets, cast nets, dip nets, crab pots, crab traps or crab trot lines shall also apply to the gear licensed under this chapter when set or fished for recreational purposes, except that: 1) certain commercial gear used for recreational purposes shall be marked in accordance with the provisions described in section

4 VAC 20-670-40, 2) the daily time limits for commercial crab potting and peeler potting established in Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-30 shall not apply to the setting and fishing of recreational crab pots licensed under this chapter., and 3) the closed season and area established in Section 28.2-709 of the Code of Virginia shall not apply to the setting and fishing of recreational crab pots licensed under this chapter.

The area in 28.2-709 says the following:

28.2-709. Closed season for taking crabs in certain area; penalty.

It is unlawful for any person to take or catch crabs for resale from the following area from June 1 through September 15. Ownership of a current license to take or catch crabs shall be prima facie evidence that such taking or catching of crabs was for resale. The limits of the area are defined as follows:

Beginning at the point of origin of the center line of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel facility where such facility commences in the City of Norfolk, Virginia, and following the shoreline in a general easterly direction, and also extending 200' out from the mean low-water mark of such shoreline into the Chesapeake Bay, to Harrison's fishing pier, Ocean View, and thence in a general northerly direction to Thimble Shoal Lighthouse; thence running in approximately a northeasterly direction to Cape Charles Lighthouse, located on Smiths Island; and thence in approximately a southwestern direction to Cape Henry Lighthouse, and bounded by the shoreline; and thence following the shoreline in a general westerly direction back to the point of beginning.

That being said there is a closed area in the mid bay or deep waters North of the lower bay sancturary.  That is closed to commercial and recreational crabbing.   Stay in the lower bay or within a mile of shore and you should be OK with this one.

One more thing that I noticed today that I am asking about is where it says that you can only use or two crab pots (or two collapsible crab traps) without a license.  There are restrictions on pots that use bait having to do with mesh size (1 1/2 inch minimum) and cull rings.  Since they do not apply to collapsible crab traps, I can not see how they can be considered a crab pot.  

So. . .  dipping with a chicken net and string no sweat.  Two crab pots per person (who must be on board when working them) no sweat.  

So that is what I can tell you right now.

Tom
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2004, 07:47:08 PM »

Oops I forgot the link.

http://www.mrc.state.va.us/recfish&crabrules.htm

Tom
« Last Edit: April 28, 2004, 07:53:36 PM by Steve » Logged
jack1747
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2004, 07:56:32 PM »

no culling rings in the pocomoke sound
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2004, 10:48:23 PM »

DID HARRISONS GET REBUILT AFTER ISABEL
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2004, 06:49:31 AM »

You know it has not been built yet.  However, there is enough there to mark the spot and the building on land is still there.

Tom
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crabincrazy
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2004, 07:42:56 AM »

Thanks for the info. Let me just get this straight, A collapsible trap is considered a crab pot in virginia.  Therefore in Maryland I can use 30 traps and in Virginia I can only use 2?  Can I use a trotline in Virginia?
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2004, 12:11:57 PM »

Like I said I do not know why the web page says that on the collaspable traps.  

On trot lines.  Yes but you have to have a license that costs about $5 or $10 bucks.  The good news is that there is no time of day (or night) limit on recreational crabbing in Virginia.

Tom
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2004, 02:11:42 PM »

I HAVE NOT BEEN TO OCEAN VIEW/WHILLOBY
SINCE THE STORM IN SEPT.
THE LAST NEWS REPORT I SAW SAID SOMTHING ABOUT CONDOS AND NO MORE PIER Huh

I HOPE I IM WRONG THATS A GREAT PLACE TO
CRAB & FISH
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2004, 02:26:30 PM »

Actually there was an article in the Pilot a while back where they said that Judy Boone will be looking at rebuilding.  A few weeks later there was another article stating that they were probably going to get a waiver on the envrionmental impact statement.  So it looks like they are trying to rebuild.

I am getting feedback from some messages I sent to VRMC and the collaspable crab trap is being interpreted as a crab pot when counting pots.

I will follow up some more but it does not look to good.

If that opinion does not change it will probably take a legislative change to allow more than 2 per person.  It is a definition that is really vague that is IMO causing the problem.  

Anyway. . . . That is what I know right now.

Tom
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2004, 09:25:22 PM »

JUST AN IDEA..............
CHANGE THE DISCRIPTION
"HAND TRAP"
"DROP TRAP"

TO MY METHOD OF UNDERSTANDING,
A CRAB"POT" IS A COMMERCIAL POT, SET AND LEAVE

A "TRAP" IS A DIVICE USED BY A  RECREATIONAL CRABBER,  TENDED WHILE CRABBING
REMOVED WHEN FINISHED CRABBING FOR THAT DAY  

JUDY BOONE IS A NICE LADY VERY CONNECTED
OCEAN VIEW IS HER TURF AND SAND
SHE HAS ITS BEST INTREST AT HEART
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2004, 08:36:46 AM »

This is what is in code (Stuff written by the General Assembly) under 28.2-700. Definitions

"Crab pot" means a device made of wire or thread net used to catch crabs.

 "Peeler pot" means a wire mesh pot baited with only live adult male (jimmy) blue crabs.

There is also sections of administrative code (Stuff written by VMRC).  That says the following.

4 VAC 20-700-20. CULL RING REQUIREMENT.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to place, set or fish any crab pot in Virginia's tidal waters which does not contain at least two unobstructed cull rings of size and location within the pot as hereinafter described, except as provided in subsections B and C of this section. One cull ring shall be at least 2 5/16 inches inside diameter, and the other cull ring shall be at least 2 3/16 inches inside diameter. These cull rings shall be located one each in opposite exterior side panels of the upper chamber of the pot.

B. The required 2 5/16 inches inside diameter cull ring may be obstructed in crab pots set on the seaside of Accomack and Northampton Counties or within the crab dredge areas, as set forth in Chapter 4 VAC 20-90-10 et seq., or within Pocomoke or Tangier Sound.

C. Peeler pots with a mesh size less than 1 1/2 inches shall be exempt from the cull ring requirement.

So, colaspable crab traps do not require cull rings and the mesh if usually less than 1 1/2 inches.  So if they are called crab pots then they are illegal.

What I think it would take is something like a

Crab Pot -- means a device made of wire or thread net used in conjunction with bait to catch crabs.  A crab pot is designed such that crabs may enter and can not normally exit.

Crab Trap -- means a device made of wire or thread used to catch crabs designed such that crabs may enter or exit until such time as it is removed from the water.  (This would cover colaspable traps, rings, etc.)

Crab Pound -- means any stationary crabing device having a funnel mouth, round mouth or square mouth and a trap box (Huh) used to catch crabs.


Add in a line in the code section allowing 2 crab pots that in an individual is allowed to use up to ## crab traps without a license, where ## is a number somewhere between 10 and 25.  Right now a crab trap and crab pound are used interchangably.  

But that is just what I think.  It will take a legislator asking for a change in code next Jan.  to make the above happen.  VMRC can not change the definition of a crab pot.  Anybody friendly with a state Deligate or Senator.

Tom
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2004, 08:42:35 PM »

DONT KNOW ANY STILL IN OFFICE,
BUT IM WILLING TO CONTACT MY LOCAL DELEGATE
LIONEL SPRUILL,
IF WE ALL CONTACT OUR  DELEGATES
WITH THE SAME PROPSED CHANGES ONE OF THEM MAY STEP UP AND SPONSER A BILL.

TOM, I LIKE THE WAY YOU WORD THE CHANGES TO THE CODE, ARE YOU WILLING TO PUT SOMTHING TOGETHER
SO WE ALL CAN BE ON THE SAME PAGE?

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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2004, 08:51:27 PM »

LINK TO ALL VIRGINIA DELEGATES E-MAIL

http://dela.state.va.us/dela/MemBios.nsf/MWebsiteEL?OpenView

CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION CARD
TO FIND YOUR DISTRICT

IF YOURE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE.........................


YOU SHOULD BE
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2004, 09:53:17 PM »

What is written above is probably a good enough starting point.  The only thing that I left out is that the following code section needs to have the crab trap stuff.

28.2-226. Exemptions from licensing requirements.

A. The following activities are exempt from the licensing requirements of this subtitle:

1. Except as otherwise provided by regulation, taking by dip net, hand line, <XX crab traps>> or two crab pots, as much as one bushel of hard crabs and two dozen peeler crabs in any one day for personal use only.

. . . .

Also I do not know the correct wording for a "trap box" on a crab pound.

It only takes one State Deligate or Senator to introduce legislation.  You do not have to convince everybody at once.   A bill has a better chance of passing if it is introduced in both sides at the same time.  

They have plenty of time to work on the details.  All you really need to talk about is the issue of using collaspable traps in reasonable quanties greater than two per person.  The deadline for filing a bill is mid Jan. 2005.  With all this budget stuff no one will probably talk to you until June or July.

Tom
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2004, 07:59:01 AM »

Oh and one more thing.  I might be tough to get any regulations loosened up if the crab stock assessment due early this fall shows that things have gone down hill or have not shown measurable improvements.  

Tom
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shoebag22
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2007, 11:39:05 AM »



Now for the confusion.   The rule on the link says that no crab pots are allowed in the blue crab sancturary between June 1 to Sept 15.  which is pretty extensive within the bay.  However, they voted changed that last year and there is a regulation that says that


where does it say that???  Would I be ok setting two crab traps 300 yards just outside of Little creek inlet?  I wouldn't be obstructing anyone, but it appears that the sanctuary covers the entire southern shore of the bay...

also... what about inside little creek, specifically in the pretty lake area.  It says blue crab sanctuary, but I see pots back there all the time...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2007, 04:34:44 PM by shoebag22 » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2007, 06:35:39 PM »

RECREATIONAL CRABBING EXEMPTIONS
On July 23, 2002, the Commission adopted an amendment to
Regulation 4VAC 20-670-10 ET SEQ. PERTAINING TO
RECREATIONAL GEAR LICENSES which was previously
adopted as an Emergency Regulation June 18, 2002. The
amended regulation clarifies that the daily time limits established
for commercial crab pot and peeler pot licensees do not
apply to the setting and fishing of recreational crab pot licensees.
In addition, Regulation 4VAC20-670-30 specifies that
the harvest restrictions associated with the Virginia Blue Crab
Sanctuary do not apply to setting or fishing of recreational crab
pots
in the lower portion of the Virginia Blue Crab Sanctuary,
as defined by section 28.2-709 of the Code of Virginia. The
effective date of this regulation, as amended, is August 1, 2002.
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2007, 11:48:40 AM »

That is so sweet... wish they would say that right on vmrc's site... or at least in a more obvious location.


THANKS GUYS!!!!
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