PUBLIC NOTICE   |   Chesapeake Bay Commercial Mature Female Hard Crab Catch Limit And Crew Requirements

PUBLIC NOTICE
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
Chesapeake Bay Commercial Mature Female Hard Crab Catch Limit And Crew Requirements

Chesapeake Bay

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service (MDNR) announces the commercial mature female hard crab bushel limit and closure periods for 2015 for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries pursuant to COMAR 08.02.03.14G. Notwithstanding COMAR 08.02.03.11A(5), there are no closure periods for female harvest in 2015. The daily commercial mature female hard crab bushel limits for 2015 are as follows:


Daily Mature Female Bushel Limits by License Type
SeasonsLCCTFL or CB3TFL with CB6 or
CB3 with CB6
TFL with CB9 or
CB3 with CB9
April 1 April 302 4 6 11
May 1 May 312 4 6 11
June 1 June 30 2 7 9 12
July 1 Aug 31 2 7 10 13
Sept 1 Sept 30 4 14 21 29
Oct 1 Oct 31 4 15 22 30
Nov 1 Nov 10 4 7 18 28
The above acronyms stand for: LCC Limited Crab Harvester License 50 pots; CB3 Crab Harvester License 300 pots; CB6 600 pot authorization; CB9 900 pot authorization; and TFL Unlimited Tidal Fish License

Additionally, in April 2015, there will also be boat limits (bushels) for mature female hard crabs for boats with two or more licensees on board.

April 2015Combined with License Type
License Type Individual
Bushel Limit
LCC TFL/CB3 TFL/CB3 with CB6 TFL/CB3 with CB9
Boat Limit Boat Limit Boat Limit Boat Limit
LCC 2 3 5 7 11
TFL/CB3 4 5 7 9 13
TFL/CB3 with CB6 6 7 9 13 16
TFL/CB3 with CB9 11 11 13 16 19

Mature female hard crab bushel limits and closure periods are subject to change based on results of the 2014-2015 winter crab dredge survey (available early May) conducted by the MDNR and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

As described in Annotated Code of Maryland, Natural Resources Article, 4-814, a 600 pot authorization (CB6) requires the license holder to have one crew member in addition to him/herself and a 900 pot authorization (CB9) requires the license holder to have two crew members in addition to him/herself on board. These additional crew members must be on board the vessel in order for the licensee to harvest at the bushel limit assigned to a CB6 or CB9. If crew members are not on board, then the licensee is restricted to the TFL or CB3 bushel limits.

Mark J. Belton
Acting Secretary
Maryland Department of Natural Resources