Harsh winter may indicate slow start to Md. crab season

WASHINGTON — The Maryland crabbing season, which started Sunday, could be getting off to a slow start this year because of the cold temperatures.

“We’re hoping that a lot of them (crabs) have been able to survive the winter,” said Dave Blazer with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “You know there’s been a lot of ice, there’s been several nor’easters and it’s been relatively cold.”

He said those weather events might have an impact on the crabs but they are hoping for the best.

Blazer said we need more warmer days to get the crabs up and moving since they burrow down in the mud in a hibernation-like state during the cold weather.

Blazer said the Department of Natural Resources is just wrapping up its winter crab population studies. The data from the winter dredge survey is analyzed and used to predict how the crab season may fare.

He said they’ll be better able to predict what the season will look like once they get the data from the winter dredge survey.

“Our winter dredge survey has proved to be pretty reliable,” said Blazer. “So we’re looking forward to that and we’ll have that data probably in about three weeks.”

Blazer said the department hopes it’s at least an average season, especially since last year’s season was a little bit below average.

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