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Crabs slow in upper bay, early spring catch blamed

Tuesday - 7/3/2012, 2:35am  ET

BALTIMORE (AP) - Crabbing in the upper Chesapeake Bay has slowed down as the Fourth of July approaches and Maryland officials say good catches this spring may be the reason.

Department of Natural Resources biologist Lynn Fegley told WJZ-TV (cbsloc.al/ON9M4v) that a warm spring started the season early and increased craving among consumers for the summer treat. However, DNR officials say crabbing in the lower bay is still doing well.

The annual winter dredge survey found the crab population had rebounded to record levels, but most were undersize juvenile crabs. Fegley says those crabs won't reach market size until later this summer or fall.

The survey estimated there more than 750 million crabs in the bay, nearly two- thirds more than last year. But nearly 600 million of those were juveniles.

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Information from: WJZ-TV, http://www.wjz.com/


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)