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.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.