NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population remains healthy and stable.

That’s according to the annual winter survey that was released Wednesday by the states of Maryland and Virginia.

The survey said the bay will likely produce an average number of crabs despite an unusually cold spring. This year’s cold weather and ice cover took a toll on the adult crab population. But the number of young crabs saw a significant increase.

Overall, the bay’s crab population is estimated to be about 371 million. That number is down from last year by about 18 percent. But officials said the population is still within safe levels.

The 2018 Winter Blue Crab Dredge Survey is overseen by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Maryland Department of Resources.

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(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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