Crab Numbers Up But Too Early to Lift Restrictions

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley says the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population increased 60-percent over the last year. O’Malley, who was speaking about the health and future of the crab fishery at a Grasonville restaurant, says a dredge survey showed the crab population is at its highest level since 1997. Last week, the Chesapeake Bay Program issued a report card showing the health of the Chesapeake Bay has improved slightly, including improvements in the dwindling crab population. Virginia and Maryland have taken steps to cut the harvest by a third, including shortening the season and not allowing hibernating pregnant females to be raked from the bottom. Maryland officials said that it is too early to say if restrictions will be eased.