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Author Topic: Winter Dredge Survey Report  (Read 21042 times)
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Mr. Breeze
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« on: April 19, 2011, 11:28:15 AM »

If it hasn't happened yet, the Governor will announce the result of the Winter Dredge Survey soon.  It will show a considerably lower number of crabs in the bay.  The decrease in Population is in direct correlation with the rapid and persistent cold water temperatures, and high influx of fresh water runoff this spring which resulted in a 31% mortality rate within the adult spawning population. 

On the bright side, the adult population remains above the 200 million animal adult spawning age threshold.  This is the third straight year that this has been met, which should trigger an easing of the numbers of frozen licenses, as DNR promised.

Also, on the bright side, the harvest is estimated to me between 42-43% removal rate, well below the target level.  On the female side of things, it looks like md crabbers left about 20% of what was allowed in the bay.

Even though the population has decreased by almost a third,  the population still remains viable, so I don't think we will be subject to any new restrictions this year.  Don't look for much to change on the female side of the regs, though.  It was thought that if the pop. was up again this year, the female restrictions could be eased, but this is not the case.
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 11:44:24 AM »

http://www.mrc.state.va.us/news_releases/2011_CrabCensusSurveyPressRelease.pdf
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 11:47:35 AM »

 and the results are  drummer drummer drummer

          http://sbynews.blogspot.com/2011/04/governor-martin-omalley-announces-2011.html    ALL IS WELL  Wink Wink
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 11:47:52 AM »

http://www.mrc.state.va.us/news_releases/2011_CrabCensusSurveyPressRelease.pdf
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2011, 11:47:56 AM »

LOL,these people should be drug tested daily to keep their jobs.They made it clear that water temps and fresh water run off has nothing to do with adult crab populations and the only thing that does is saving the females,so what happened?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2011, 11:53:43 AM »

Chesapeake Crab numbers down, cold weather blamed
Posted to: Environment News Virginia Login or register to post comments
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The Associated Press
© April 19, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md.

An annual winter dredge survey of the Chesapeake Bay says a cold winter has hurt the crab population.

The survey released today shows the crab population is at 460 million, down from more than 650 million in last year's survey.

The Department of Natural Resources says nearly one third of the bay's adult crabs were lost to cold weather, compared to about 11 percent last year. However, 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 dredge survey is conducted by Maryland and Virginia and is the most comprehensive look at the bay's crab population


http://hamptonroads.com/2011/04/chesapeake-crab-numbers-down-cold-weather-blamed
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 12:04:33 PM by jack1747 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2011, 12:39:09 PM »

Governor Martin O’Malley Announces 2011 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey Results
Population at 2nd highest level since 1997; Management actions continue to benefit Maryland

RIVA, MD (April 19, 2011) — Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population is at its second highest level since 1997 and well above the target for the third year in a row, setting the stage for a Bay-wide recovery. The results of the 2011 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey indicate that management measures put into place in 2008 are continuing to pay dividends for the crab population, the industry, recreational crabbers and those who just plain enjoy the Bay’s favorite crustacean. Joined by stakeholders, elected officials and staff, Governor O’Malley made the announcement from the deck of Mike’s Crab House near Annapolis, overlooking the South River.

“Today we continue to realize the benefits of the very tough decisions we made three years ago – decisions that are bringing us closer to our ultimate goal: a self-sustaining fishery that will support our industry and recreational fisheries over the long term,” said Governor O’Malley. “At 460 million crabs, our population is at its second highest level since 1997, and nearly double the record low of 249 million in 2007. And for watermen across the Bay, the unusually high abundance we saw last year translated into a harvest of more than 89 million pounds — the highest since 1993.”

The survey also reports that 254 million adult crabs survived an unusually cold winter in the Chesapeake, above the current population target for the third year in a row. This marks the first time since the early 90s that the Bay has seen three consecutive years where the adult population was above the target (200 million crabs) and the combined commercial and recreational harvest was below the target of 46 percent.

“This annual survey, not only gives us the best accounting of our populations, it is also an excellent predictor of the upcoming harvest,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John Griffin. “While we are heartened by these results, we remain committed to working with our partners and stakeholders to keep the harvest in balance with the population over the long term.”

Estimates of abundance are developed separately for young of the year crabs, mature female crabs, and adult male crabs. Together, these groups of crabs will support the 2011 fishery and produce the next generation of crabs.

“The Bay’s blue crab population can vary dramatically from year to year, and 2011 has presented some challenges,” said DNR Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell. “Crabs are vulnerable to extreme cold, and this past winter’s deep freeze is to blame for the fact that as much as 31 percent of Maryland’s adult crabs were lost to winter kill, as opposed to about 11 percent in 2010. Crab reproduction was also lower in 2011—again, not unexpected given its natural variability, which is heavily influenced by environmental conditions.”

“Quite clearly, this year presented a perfect storm,” explained Dr. Tom Miller, professor of fisheries at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “It was warmer than normal going into the winter, got cold rapidly in early December and then stayed very cold and below average from mid-December to the beginning of February. Any one of these would have caused increased mortality, but in combination, they were exactly what we didn't need.” Maryland’s management system of daily catch limits and closed periods is designed to adapt and ensure that annual crab harvest stays balanced with annual shifts in abundance. DNR will begin working immediately with the industry, the public and our advisory commissions to determine if minor adjustments to Maryland’s regulations will be made this year.

“Our stakeholders and citizens can rest assured that never again will we allow the removal of 60 to 75 percent of our population, which ultimately resulted in the fishery’s decline,” said Governor O’Malley. Preliminary harvest numbers in the 88-94 million-pound range confirm that a robust industry can coexist with regulations designed to rebuild a self-sustaining, healthy blue crab population. In addition, recreational crabbing license sales increased by 8 percent in 2010, evidence that word about improved catch rates spread quickly among local communities and more individuals enjoyed this great Maryland tradition.

Through a historic collaboration in 2008, Maryland, Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC) took strong coordinated action to reduce harvest pressure on female crabs by 34 percent. At that time, scientists from all three jurisdictions deemed conservation measures necessary as blue crabs suffered near historic lows in spawning stock.

“The Bay’s blue crab population is healthy and now is showing signs of resiliency, thanks to our stock rebuilding efforts with our Maryland partners,” said Steven G. Bowman, Commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. “We cannot control the weather. It was a harsh winter and crab mortality was higher than normal. In fact, it was the worst we’ve seen since 1996. Thankfully, we acted when we did in 2008 to begin rebuilding the crab population, or the crab census results we see today would be grim indeed.”

“The coordinated management of blue crabs since 2008 clearly demonstrates the conservation gains that can be achieved when Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions act collectively toward a common vision – in this case a healthy blue crab population and sustainable fishery,” said Peyton Robertson, director of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. “The Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team, recently established under the Chesapeake Bay Program, will build upon this collaboration to address other sustainable fisheries issues of shared interest among the Bay jurisdictions.”

The primary assessment of the Bay’s blue crab population is conducted annually by DNR and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). Since 1990, the survey has employed crab dredges to sample blue crabs at 1,500 sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay from December through March. By sampling during winter when blue crabs are buried in the mud and stationary, scientists can develop, with good precision, estimates of the number of crabs present in the Bay.

With the help of stakeholders and members of the General Assembly, the O’Malley-Brown Administration achieved major victories in the 2011 legislature, passing bills that increased enforcement authority and penalties for certain egregious violations of striped bass, oyster and blue crab rules.

In September 2008, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service responded to Governor O’Malley’s request for disaster assistance funding for watermen impacted by the declining blue crab population. With support from Senator Barbara Mikulski and Maryland’s Congressional Delegation, DNR received $15 million that extends into 2012 to assist management efforts and mitigate the impacts from the blue crab fishery disaster. In Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010, Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly also directed $6 million in capital funding toward these efforts.

For information on the 2011 results and crab management, click here.


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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2011, 12:42:41 PM »

LOL,these people should be drug tested daily to keep their jobs.They made it clear that water temps and fresh water run off has nothing to do with adult crab populations and the only thing that does is saving the females,so what happened?  Roll Eyes

I guess these crabs have changed some, since I was a kid. This past winter was probably on the high side of temps of what we used to see.

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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 12:46:08 PM »

I guess these crabs have changed some, since I was a kid. This past winter was probably on the high side of temps of what we used to see.



If there was another increase, then there would be no need for catch shares and hard to sell the idea.
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2011, 01:14:57 PM »

If there was another increase, then there would be no need for catch shares and hard to sell the idea.

Read between the lines.

"said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John Griffin. “While we are heartened by these results, we remain committed to working with our partners and stakeholders to keep the harvest in balance with the population over the long term.”

This is so they can keep working with EDF and ALTERNATIVE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT  Roll Eyes  Just another name for CATCH SHARES.  Smoke blowers is more like it.  Maybe it's time for an INDEPENDENT and impartial survey or at least watermen observers on board during the dredging.
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2011, 01:17:21 PM »

Read between the lines.

"said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John Griffin. “While we are heartened by these results, we remain committed to working with our partners and stakeholders to keep the harvest in balance with the population over the long term.”

This is so they can keep working with EDF and ALTERNATIVE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT  Roll Eyes  Just another name for CATCH SHARES.  Smoke blowers is more like it.  Maybe it's time for an INDEPENDENT and impartial survey or at least watermen observers on board during the dredging.


that was my point  Wink Cry
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 01:29:35 PM »

"the combined commercial and recreational harvest was below the target of 46 percent"

How do they know what the recreational harvest was?  I didn't think this winter was that cold, compared to some in the past. I didn't do any ice breaking this year.   Huh
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 01:31:52 PM »

"the combined commercial and recreational harvest was below the target of 46 percent"

How do they know what the recreational harvest was?  I didn't think this winter was that cold, compared to some in the past. I didn't do any ice breaking this year.   Huh
It got cold fast.. We had ice thick enough to pull up one piling before Xmas.  
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2011, 01:34:39 PM »

exactly,  I dont think it was the cold so much, as it was how fast it came in
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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2011, 02:28:25 PM »

I think it was more the heavy influx of fresh from up north in late feb and early march.  Fllod conditions at Conowingo causes a wall of fresh to roll down the bay.  Timed with very lethargic crabs, or buried crabs, mortality can be dramatic.
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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2011, 03:37:32 PM »

your getting another heavy dose of dirty nutient rich susky water now and looks like a lot more to come after tomorrow.
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2011, 03:45:23 PM »

Was it global warming or "climate Change", that killed the Crabs..............Polotics are KILLING THE WATERMEN.......
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2011, 04:24:13 PM »

GUYS '  this is the second highest recording of crabs since 1996. Keep things in perspective. (Even with the 30% loss to winter loss.)

Winter loss is par for the course, this will be another excellent year of crabbing. Another thing Susqy water is neither cleaner or dirtier than md water. It (the susqy) just happens to provide the vast majority of fresh water to the bay.

Lets just stay positive and hope that the spring rains are minimun from here on out.   The dredge report is one thing, but lets wait for actual crabbing reports from the bay.  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2011, 04:34:12 PM »

your getting another heavy dose of dirty nutient rich susky water now and looks like a lot more to come after tomorrow.

Yeah, but the difference is now the crabs are active and can move out of the way.  When they are bedded down during the winter, they can't get away from it and that wall of fresh just washes over them
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« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2011, 04:46:20 PM »

GUYS '  this is the second highest recording of crabs since 1996. Keep things in perspective. (Even with the 30% loss to winter loss.)

Winter loss is par for the course, this will be another excellent year of crabbing. Another thing Susqy water is neither cleaner or dirtier than md water. It (the susqy) just happens to provide the vast majority of fresh water to the bay.

Lets just stay positive and hope that the spring rains are minimun from here on out.   The dredge report is one thing, but lets wait for actual crabbing reports from the bay.  Wink

spring crabs may be a lil small if 30% of the adult crabs died...might have to wait awhile for some good numbers of good quality crab ... Embarassed
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