How does posting higher crab catching reports help the waterman? Doesn't this mean that they still want to catch as many crabs as possible with no concern about the crab population?If they stayed in line with the DNR reports, woukldn't that help them in the long run?
Yeah, it would help them. The problem here is that DNR wasn't completely truthful with the WDS last spring. The population was actually shown to be up in the survey. But they knew if they let this be known before they had last year's emergency regs in place, it would not bode well for continuing with the restrictions. After they announced the emergency regs, and that was the news, they quietly released the full results of the WDS, which went under the publics radar. The watermen didn't report falsely. They actually caught what they reported. The difference is that there were more crabs to be caught. If this continues without controversy, DNR's next step will be to claim that, based on the estimate of the population that they released before the full wds was provided, the watermen overharvested, and that further restrictions will be required. Mark my words.
They probably have the regulation plan all ready to go. I think this was their plan all along.