PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) — Somerset County watermen are asking Delegate-elect Charles Otto to ease crabbing restrictions.

Five watermen met Saturday with Otto, pointing to results of last winter’s dredge survey that showed a 60 percent increase in the population.

Deal Island waterman Danny Webster said that given the rebound watermen should be allowed to catch crabs that are a quarter-inch smaller all season. Currently, the limit is 5 inches from April 1 to July 15, when the minimum size increases to 5 1/4 inches.

Otto, who will serve on the Environmental Matters committee, is taking over the seat held by the late Delegate D. Page Elmore and has promised to look out for the interests of watermen.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (10)
  1. Dukle says:

    Customers do not want small crabs! Waterman are always wanting more. Why not give the resource a rest and leave the size alone.

  2. MD crab lover says:

    Watermen still want to kill the golden goose. It’s the regs that brought the crab back from the brink of disaster. Keep them in place and maybe, one day, crabs will be big, plentiful and affordable like they were when I was a kid.

  3. V Webster says:

    The watermen won’t be happy until they’ve pulled the last remaining blue crab out of the bay. Then they can complain about how others have ruined their livelihood.

    There are good reasons there aren’t passenger pigeons or dodo birds anymore and none them had to do with global warning or developers. Greedy humans killed them and marketed them without limit or any thought to the long term consequence

  4. tld62 says:

    Really??,,,, what would you do if your way of life was slowly be eliminated by regulations?? There is a balance that can be struck.

  5. tld62 says:

    Really??,,,what would you do if your way of life was slowly being eliminated by regulations? There is a balance that can be struck.

  6. GB856 says:

    They already take more than the recreational crabber.

  7. ACP21 says:

    Your way of life isn’t going to be sustainable if you crabbers take all you can get and then some. I’m tired of the baby boomers always wondering what you’re gonna do for me, that’s how the government got into the economic mess it’s in. My generation is left the clean up the mess the boomers created!

  8. Dorchester says:

    If I were a waterman and my way of life were being threatened the way theirs is, I would fight tooth and nail for every inch or “quarter inch” I could get. And so would all of us. Has anyone every considered reducing the harvest of the female crabs? Say for a year or two? They aren’t worth a dime, but they produce all of the eggs, and the male can fertilize who knows how many. Like we do with the deer population. If we want more deer, don’t kill the does because a male can reproduce with dozens of does. I hear everyone complaining about the crab harvest, then there is some schmo on the side of the road selling females for $10 a dozen

    1. Jelly says:

      They have already reduced the harvest of female crabs the past 3 years. No females crabs are allowed to be caught by recreational crabbers. And the commercial crabbers are limited I believe. Leave the size limit just the way it is. There are plenty of crabs in the bay and rivers. If you are not good enough to catch them, then maybe you should find another occupation. I could not beat the crabs off of my trotlines last season.

  9. Lindsey says:

    There’s not much of a difference in a 1/4. A lot goes into crabbing and if you don’t want to pay the price for someone elses hard work then do it yourself. I think it should be dropped and I think they should enforce the dates that you can keep females since there are more males.

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