Public meetings are set on blue crab harvest

June 12, 1994|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Earlier this year, the Department of Natural Resources announced several changes in regulations controlling the recreational and commercial harvest of blue crabs in Maryland as part of a long-term management plan for the popular species.

Later this month, the DNR will hold public meetings to discuss the research and management strategies that are the basis of the five-year plan.

While blue crab populations are not endangered or even threatened at this point, DNR has new regulations in place this year to ensure that crabs are not overfished.

The thinking goes that while the number of crabs has been reasonably stable in recent years, the number of fishermen -- recreational and commercial -- has increased and could be expected to continue to increase.

The management plan is designed to put a cap on recreational and commercial crabbing efforts.

The meetings will be held on June 20 at the Department of Agriculture Headquarters building in Annapolis and on June 27 at the Talbot County Free Library in Easton. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m.

Trophy stats

Through May 23, DNR reports that 769 legal catches of trophy striped bass had been reported. Charterboats accounted for 58 percent of the catch.

The largest trophy taken measured 54 inches, and two 52-inch fish were reported.

Bits and pieces

* The Potomac Paddlin' Adventure continues this season at Green Ridge State Forest, with overnight canoe trips scheduled June 18-19, Sept. 10-11, 24-25, and Oct. 8-9.

For more information, call 1-301-777-2345.

* The Ocean City Small Boat Tournament will be held July 29-30-31. Registration is on July 28 at the Ocean City Fishing Center.

For more information, call 1-800-286-6499.

* The Pocomoke River Canoe Challenge will be run from Snow Hill to Pocomoke City in Worcester County Saturday. For entry forms, rules or more information, call (410) 632-2080.

CRAB REGULATIONS

The following guidelines for recreational crabbers will be in effect through the end of the 1994 calendar year:

License requirements: None

Season: April 1-Dec. 31

Times: 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Chesapeake Bay; 530 a.m. to sunset in rivers, creeks and tributaries; 24 hours per day from docks, piers, bridges and shorelines.

Daily limits: One bushel per person or two bushels per boat, regardless of how many people are on board.

Gear: Hand lines, unlimited; collapsible traps or rings, 10 per person or 25 per boat; dip nets; 1,000 feet of trotline per person or not more than two 1,000 foot trotlines per boat; seines up to 50 feet, which must be emptied in the water.

Waterfront landowners: Up to two commercial pots may be set from a private pier or attached by line from property or stake not more than 100 yards from shore. Such pots must be marked with name and address of landowner. Pots must have a 2 and 5/16 inches cull ring in the upper chamber.

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