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Reported by Elizabeth Harrington

Crab Season Begins In Maryland

 

(Photo: WBOC)

 

 

 

 

 

04/01/2008

 

CRISFIELD - Maryland's crab season kicked off on Tuesday. But few watermen braved the wind and cooler temperatures to go crabbing.

 

Experts are predicting a poor season.

 

Last year's harvest came in at its second lowest on record in the state. The Department of Natural Resources says about 21 million pounds were caught in 2007.

 

That's compared that to the 28 million harvested in 2006.

 

Environmentalists tie the decreasing numbers to the health of the Chesapeake.

 

"There's also the fact that the bay is out of balance", says Margaret Vivian with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, "Water quality is out of balance, we've lost a lot of our oyster which is a keystone species."

 

Watermen now worry how much this season is going to cost them.

 

"They're decent crabs, just not many of them", says Todd Monzeglio.

 

He and Joe Reid were one of the few watermen who went crabbing Tuesday. The two men brought back just 6 and a half bushels to Glenwood Evans in Crisfield. Far below their average of 15 bushels during crab season. Todd says there's a few reasons why.

 

"Pollution, over protecting the rockfish, croakers", says Monzeglio, "They blame it all on us but there's no crabbers left now. It's probably 50 percent of the crabbers in the last few years have quit."

 

But both watermen are still out there, trying to make a living. Hoping this year's crabs will be enough.

 

"I hope it's a decent season cause the more money he makes, the more money I make", says Reid.

 

Officials in both Virginia and Maryland expect to announce tougher harvest regulations in the coming weeks.

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that's ok...we'll help you guys out...AGAIN...all the crabs you guy have now are the La. subspecies from the last blight of the bay..

glad to do it...

eric

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No problem there, I finally got rid of the one I got riding in Maldev's truck when we picked up my Scout, I'm pretty sure he still has some he can "donate"

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that's ok...we'll help you guys out...AGAIN...all the crabs you guy have now are the La. subspecies from the last blight of the bay..

glad to do it...

eric

Thanks, homer. All the locals know where to go to get the "real" crabmeat in offseason. We freeze ahead for those months. The tourists eat the La crabmeat or the NC crabmeat and never know the difference.

The Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab is , and will always be, King around these parts B)

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No problem there, I finally got rid of the one I got riding in Maldev's truck when we picked up my Scout, I'm pretty sure he still has some he can "donate"

You do understand that we are not talking about the elusive "crotch cricket" species of crab. On the shore those are considered inferior and NO ONE wants them !!!

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You do understand that we are not talking about the elusive "crotch cricket" species of crab. On the shore those are considered inferior and NO ONE wants them !!!

wait...we aren't talking about the crotch crickets?? oh..then never mind... :P

eric

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The guy they quoted is my best friend's older brother. We used to wear him out ! I had a wee crush on him. He is the real deal. He crabs and oysters hard and raises and trials beagles and plays golf in his spare time. Working the water is a hard life with few perks. I know from growing up in a family of waterman. We ALL worked hard. By 12 I could pull pots and cull or run a trotline.Fished floats during peak season every three hours around the clock to get the softshells before they got "crisp". In the winter we tonged or scraped for oysters and trapped muskrats.I could identify,catch and clean anything edible that came out of the Bay. I could make bait out of the non-edible species.

Just a little snapshot of my past so when we meet in Branson you will understand why I am a bit rough around the edges ;)

I also like to inform others as many know how good seafood can taste but not what it takes to get to their plate :)

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