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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Caught this crab last saturday he measured body to point 5"
the law states p/p. I threw him back, wasn't taking a chance.
Would you keep it?
 

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No way. caught a couple of these over the years and was kind of scared to even touch them to throw them back. Amazing that they can even survive missing half of their shell.
 

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From a legal standpoint, if that crab measures 5" from one point to the other side without a point, it is legal. We caught one like that and I measured it and it was 5 1/2" but I threw it back. It was cut somehow but it completely healed up. I don't think it would be harmful to eat though. I guess I just felt sorry for it! LEGAL CRAB....................Gary
 

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It would be legal to keep.

I've had legal crabs in my basket get 1/2 the point broken off - when checked by DNR - they were OK with it - since you could see it was big enough by eye.

Points are funny sometimes - I've seen crabs with very short stubby ones - some had one side much longer then other side.
 

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I seem to think that these crabs may have been bitten when soft.
I have crabbed all my life and I have seen a lot more crabs like that in recent years than I have in past years.

I have wondered if crabs like that may have been caught as lights or smalls in a patent dipper basket and damaged by other crabs while being towed in the basket.

I wonder what the impact is to crabs caught in dippers that are released. Its a relatively new gear type that is now widely used by comms and I don't know but I have to suspect there has been no scientific research to determine the adverse impacts to crabs that are captured in dippers and then released.

I am not trying to start a rec vs comm debate, its a legitimate concern to wonder about the impacts of that gear to individual crabs that are released, and the larger question of the potential adverse population impacts of adoption of a new commercial harvest gear.....
 

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I have been crabbing 50 years and I have seen a spattering of deformed crabs over the years. I have not noticed an increase recently. I net my crabs and have only been on a boat with an auto dipper once. There were no instances of damaged crabs on that outing. I can't formulate an opinion over one outing. I do feel that you can kill crabs if you run too long without dumping the crabs. ie. 5000'. When I took the crabs this weekend from the basket to put them in the steamer, I did find one crab that had a few inches of a point missing. This was from a bushel that Francis gave me. I don't know if he uses a dipper or not.........Gary
 

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I have crabbed all my life and I have seen a lot more crabs like that in recent years than I have in past years.

I have wondered if crabs like that may have been caught as lights or smalls in a patent dipper basket and damaged by other crabs while being towed in the basket.

I wonder what the impact is to crabs caught in dippers that are released. Its a relatively new gear type that is now widely used by comms and I don't know but I have to suspect there has been no scientific research to determine the adverse impacts to crabs that are captured in dippers and then released.

I am not trying to start a rec vs comm debate, its a legitimate concern to wonder about the impacts of that gear to individual crabs that are released, and the larger question of the potential adverse population impacts of adoption of a new commercial harvest gear.....
Dippers are not new technology. They have been around since at least the 1920's.
 

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Dippers are not new technology. They have been around since at least the 1920's.
I was commenting on the widespread use of them by MD commercial crabbers--the use of dippers has skyrocketed in recent years in the areas I crab on both Eastern and Western shore.

Just a few years ago most commercial trotline crabbers used nets, now many comms use dippers, and in some areas most comms use dippers.
 

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I throw them back,, I see them all the time, something took a bite out of it when it was soft, fish, Ray, heron, another crab,
there are plenty of whole crabs out there,
most people don't want them.
would you want a sandwich or a slice of pizza that already has a bite taken out of it?:yes:
 

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Most commercials still use dipnets and many buyers do not accept crabs from auto-dippers. I have a friend that recently invented one that protects the crabs from stress and possible drowning. It moves them into a separate dry area and is currently too expensive for most to afford but will come down in price over time. He has spent many years perfecting it. I doubt that crab was damaged that way and he will get a brand new shell during the next shed.
 
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