By Ron Matz

ESSEX, Md. (WJZ)—All over Maryland folks are getting ready for the first holiday of the summer, and that means steamed crabs.

Ron Matz reports with the bay’s crab population booming there will be plenty of crabs to go around for Memorial Day weekend.

It’s the sounds of summer at Fruitland in Essex. It’s home of the big bushel, where folks are crab ready for the Memorial Day weekend.

“This is a big weekend. There will be a lot of family gatherings. The weather’s going to be good. They’re going to be looking for crabs, corn, tomatoes, everything,” said Tony Walters Sr.

Walters has been in the crab business 40 years and agrees with analysts who say this year’s bay crab population is booming.

“It’s going to turn out to be a real good year. It’s starting off a little slow. The crabs are showing up. We have plenty of suppliers. It takes a lot of crabbers to get what we need on a holiday,” Walters said.

Chuck Long drives three hours from Western Maryland to bring them back home.

“I come down here every year to get the crabs for Memorial Day. I live in Westernport near Deep Creek Lake, and it’s a three-hour drive. I take them back up there for our party. They’re good crabs,” Long said.

“I’m picking up crabs, corn on the cob and a few pieces of fruit for the holiday. I’m going to be with my family, and it’s going to be an enjoyable time,” said Gwen Pierce, East Baltimore.

Tomatoes, strawberries and much more– it’s crab time in Maryland.

“Folks are going to find enough crabs. Everybody will have them. Some crabbers get them from Virginia or Carolina. Maryland is coming on now. There’s no need to worry. We have plenty and the crabs are good quality right now,” Walters said.

“We have a big cookout and invite a lot of people. We like doing that in the country, eating crabs, throwing horseshoes and telling lies,” Long said.

Analysts say the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population is at the highest level since 1993, and a 66 percent increase over last year.


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