New crabbing limits begin

April 01, 1994|By Timothy B. Wheeler | Timothy B. Wheeler,Sun Staff Writer

New restrictions on recreational and commercial crabbing take effect today, the first day of crabbing season.

The most important change limits recreational crabbing for personal consumption to the hours between 5:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Chesapeake Bay and from 5:30 a.m. until sunset in rivers and creeks, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Crabbing from docks, piers, bridges and the shoreline is allowed around the clock, as before.

The daily catch limit for recreational crabbing is now limited to one bushel per person or two bushels per boat, regardless of how many people are aboard. There also is a higher limit on crab-catching gear -- 10 collapsible traps or rings per person, and 25 per boat.

Landowners may use two commercial crab pots from their piers or stake them in the water up to 100 yards offshore. Each pot must be labeled with the owner's name and address, and each must have a cull ring to allow small crabs to escape. New limits also have been placed on the hours and gear used by commercial crabbers.

Some rules may have to be changed, state officials said, if the House of Delegates kills a Schaefer administration fisheries management bill that has passed the Senate.

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