ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Snakeheads are invasive, two species of catfish and now our beloved crabs — have an invasive species local environmentalist want your help remove from Maryland waterways.

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According to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Chinese mitten crabs are an invasive species of crab that could affect the state’s crab population.

The key identifier of a mitten crab is it’s “furry” claws, according to the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works. They have light brown to olive-colored bodies and they have an I-shaped notch between their eyes.

Mitten Crabs (Courtesy Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)

Mitten Crabs (Courtesy Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)

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If you catch a mitten crab, SERC wants you to take the following steps:

  • Do not throw it back alive!
  • Take a close-up photo.
  • Note the precise location where the animal was found.
  • Freeze the animal, keep on ice, or as a last resort preserve it in rubbing alcohol.
  • Please report a mitten crab by submitting information and photos here or email to We will reply to each report and may also ask about any specimens that you may have collected.
  • For other questions, you can also contact the Mitten Crab Hotline at 443-482-2222.

Courtesy the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works

For more information on Chinese mitten crabs or to reporting a sighting, go to

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