Expect a strong crabbing season ahead!

Thanks to the mild winter temperatures, the blue crab population has increased by 60 percent (just incredible) with a whopping total of 594 million crabs. This is unexpected, as there was a poor influx of adult crabs in 2017. 

According to Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, the adult female population rose 29 percent to 190 million, and the male population rose 38 percent to 80 million total. Meanwhile, the juvenile crab population has increased from 164 to 324 million. 

The weather is a defining factor in the size of the crab population as mild weather conditions can help increase the population and harsh winter weather can hinder the growth. Since the Chesapeake Bay experienced mild winter conditions, the crabs were able to survive through the winter and mate during that time. 

Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

Crabbing season will be in full swing as it is expected to last through the fall and possibly into 2020. The survey stated that the crabs are at their most plentiful and are close to or above the indication of a healthy and sustainable population. 

“We are proud of our administration’s strong record of skilled environmental stewardship, which begins with safeguarding the Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Hogan. “Today’s results are further proof and a shining example that our efforts to protect Maryland’s blue crab population, while ensuring the health of our state’s most important natural asset, have been successful.”

Local restaurants won't have to defer to placing the "Sorry, we are out of crabs" signs on their windows; this year, there are plenty to go around! Get your forks, knives, and bibs ready to dig into some delicious blue crabs! 

Courtesy of YouTube

Do you like blue crabs? What do you think about this recent increase? Do you plan to go crabbing? Tell us in the comments.