ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Virginia Marine Resources Commission and Maryland Department of Natural Resources released the results of the 2021 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, an annual estimate of the blue crab population in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The results are a mixed bag.

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The good news is, there was a slight increase in mature female crabs compared to last year.

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“The increase in the number of adult female blue crabs in the Bay is a good sign that fishery management focused on a robust female population is paying off,” said Chris Moore, a senior regional scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

On the other hand, researchers found that juvenile crab numbers decreased to the lowest number since the survey began in 1990.

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“The reduced abundance of juveniles and males could make crabs scarce later this summer into the fall for those who enjoy eating crabs, and indicates we should remain cautious in our approach to managing this valuable fishery,” Moore said.