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Author Topic: Cape Cod Crabbing Rules  (Read 1817 times)
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duque00
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« on: June 23, 2016, 12:07:08 PM »

Hey All,

 I am going to Cape Cod in July for a week. I would like to crab there for Blue Crab if possible. I've read the rules and regulations several times and my head is spinning. The only hard rules I have so far are:

- 25 Max per Day per Person
- 5" minimum point to point - NO PREGGOS.

The licensing is confusing......

Do I need a license?
Can I use my crab traps?
Can I do a hand line with chicken?

I am NOT a resident and will be there for a week.

Thanking you in advance!
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Professor_Leakey
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2016, 01:50:35 PM »

You can use the traps as long as they are not closed traps...collapsible traps like box/star are fine to use.  Hand lining with chicken is also fine.  I do not believe that you need any license whatsoever to do this, but never looked into this because I always have a fishing/hunting license anyway. 
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chef
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2016, 08:39:46 PM »

No license needed as long as they are not crab pots (traps with collapsible doors are legal see link).

http://www.easternmarine.com/foxy-mate-low-profile-crab-trap
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duque00
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 09:03:13 AM »

That's the trap I have Chef.

PL - just don't want/need the hassle of going up there with gear and getting banged for not knowing the rules....
Just want some to make some tasty cakes....
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fishgeek
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 01:11:18 PM »

I've attached a picture of a regulation sign that can be found posted at our more popular MA blue crabbing locations.  If anyone is aware of a MA location that could use a sign, let me know and I'll try to get one posted. 

To answer your questions, you do not need a permit (resident or non-resident) if you are using a hand line/trot line, or dip net.  You also do not need a permit to fish a "star trap" or other such "open top" trap.  You would need a permit to fish a lobster trap, or Chesapeake Bay style crab trap.

If you have any more questions about MA state regulations, feel free to give me a call.  I'm the crab biologist for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.  While most of my work time is spent on other crab species (Jonah crab, horseshoe crab), blue crabbing is one of my favorite hobbies. 

Derek Perry
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Invertebrate Fisheries
1213 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02744
phone: (508) 990-2860 ex. 148
fax: (508) 990-0449
[email protected]
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duque00
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 01:38:33 PM »

Thanks Derek! Some great info there!

Unfortunately I am home from Mass to tend to a family emergency.
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chef
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 09:14:36 PM »

Yes thanks Derek. The sign does state that collapsible traps are legal. Now we just need to know if we're allowed to use more than one collapsible trap.

It seems like nitpicking but I'd rather nit pick here than to have my kayak and vehicle confiscated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


If not then I guess using a trotline would be the only option to have a chance at catching a limit.  Undecided
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