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Author Topic: Mature female crabs—no minimum size  (Read 1175 times)
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Eastcoast Steve
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« on: July 02, 2020, 03:02:12 PM »

Can you now keep mature female crabs??  This is from the Maryland DNR website: See last line below.

Minimum Size Limits
(measured from tip to tip of spikes)
Hard crabs—5 inches.
Soft crabs—3½ inches.
Peeler crabs
April 1–July 14—3¼ inches.
July 15–Dec. 31—3½ inches.
Mature female crabs—no minimum size.
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Seaweed
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 03:22:15 PM »

No.  It's merely saying that mature females (sooks) do not have a minimum size to keep, as long as you hold a commercial license.  They have never had a minimum size.
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bassman349
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 08:12:08 AM »

Can you now keep mature female crabs??  This is from the Maryland DNR website: See last line below.

Minimum Size Limits
(measured from tip to tip of spikes)
Hard crabs—5 inches.
Soft crabs—3½ inches.
Peeler crabs
April 1–July 14—3¼ inches.
July 15–Dec. 31—3½ inches.
Mature female crabs—no minimum size.

Those appear to be the regs for Atlantic Ocean.
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U812OHNO
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2020, 03:21:38 PM »

You can if the ol' girl is a softshell
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Derwood
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2020, 03:16:58 PM »

Can someone help me understand the reasoning for commercial crabbers being allowed to keep sooks and recreational crabbers not?
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Harford Crabber
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2020, 03:45:57 PM »

Same reason as recreational crabbers can't use traps or trotline on Wednesdays.     
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 06:29:29 AM »

Derwood yes I can explain. the last time DNR took something from comm crabbers,and it's been so much I don't remember what it was, they had to hit the rec side also and most rec said they didn't keep sooks anyway so that;s what they had to give up. I'm sure someone will remember what the comm  lost at that time but I don't.
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Stabilizer
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2020, 12:22:18 PM »

Another reason could be, that comm catch is tracked closely by DNR so they can adjust the catch of female crabs if desired. Also they can educate the identification of mature female/no sponge crabs to a set audience of comm crabbers, while rec crabbers come and go and therefor might be more novice at identification.
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reds
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2020, 07:13:28 PM »

The real reason is there is about 6 thousand commercial crab licenses in Maryland and possibly upto 90 thousand rec crab licenses. Depending where you get the info from.
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Derwood
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2020, 09:25:21 AM »

Thanks for the responses and information everyone. I think I get it: combination of historical trade-offs in overall population management strategies which is somewhat based on relative influence levels in Annapolis, and low-levels of knowledge for identifying maturity across the average rec population.

I only started crabbing significantly this year so I'm still learning. Really appreciate the insights.

When I saw the Wednesday restriction, my first thought was "OK, we need the Sunday duck hunting ban moved to Wednesday too" haha. People can dream.

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drumsfield
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« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2020, 07:57:32 AM »

I hear in Virginia Recs can keep females. Kind of defeats the purpose of the Maryland regs doesn't it?
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rdbeard
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2020, 09:09:22 AM »

not really, I don't think there are anywhere near as many rec crabbers in Va as there is in md. and besides the majority of crabs in va waters are probably sooks anyway
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Crabbyd
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2020, 09:43:04 AM »

not really, I don't think there are anywhere near as many rec crabbers in Va as there is in md. and besides the majority of crabs in va waters are probably sooks anyway

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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2020, 10:09:53 AM »

Those are Atlantic coast regulations. You are only allowed to keep female crabs at OC and the bay behind assateage.
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