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found this in my pics from past! pretty cool our future-let's hope this years a good one. I think it will be.
good luck all! cmjl
 

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There were many little crabs last season. I found a half inch crab in my basket when I got home. If they make it through the Winter and avoid predators,t should be a very good year. Let's hope!............Gary
 

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Of concern is that with the mild winter we're experiencing the crabs may not have gone to deep water to dig in for the duration. If winter gets severe the last two and half months we may lose a lot of crabs. This situation was relayed to me by a commercial crabber.
Hope this doesn't happen.
.
 

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Winter Dredge Survey will give us an overall picture of the population. One thing I would point out, last years rainfall was about average. However you had periods of drought and monsoon like precipitation during the season that created huge pockets of crabs in holding patterns in some regions. I believe this created a false sense that things were better than average in some areas and the reverse in other areas. Case in point, several Southern MD creeks and rivers experienced some of the best crabbing seen in years during June and early July last year. My theory is that the increased rainfall in late May through June created a bottleneck of migration that kept these crabs holding in those areas until the salinity levels increased and the crabs continued on their normal migratory pattern. Crabbing in the rest of the region was slower than normal throughout this period as the prices at the dock were still very high. Crabbers in this area benefitted quite nicely with the abundance of crabs and the prices for almost a month. Once the rainfall returned to normal the remainder of the season was a little better than average but nothing to get excited about long term in that region. The upper bay region experienced a similar increase in September and October as the higher precipitation levels had similar effect in that area. My guess is that we will likely see a slight increase in the WDS numbers but overall nothing to get excited about. The state should have decent data to this point regarding the restrictions put in place on female crabs and the effect of those restrictions on the overall population. Since you are now at the point that you have data on a complete life cycle of the crabs. What will be interesting is how that data is interpreted by the powers to be and future regulations if any implemented.

Of concern is that with the mild winter we're experiencing the crabs may not have gone to deep water to dig in for the duration. If winter gets severe the last two and half months we may lose a lot of crabs. This situation was relayed to me by a commercial crabber.
Hope this doesn't happen.
I don't believe that the mild pattern to date will negatively affect mortality rates as crabs may not be fully dug in for the winter but they are ready to do so when necessary. If anything it allows them to stay more active and shorten the "hibernation" period. They are in their winter haunts they just aren't dug in for the duration. I think winter mortality is more dependent on how cold for how long than any other factor.
 
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