Blue Crab Season Started March 1st
Well now that the ice has thawed out we are a go for putting in crab pots, since March first. However the water is still a tad cold, actually it is realllllllly cold for crabs. But that doesn’t mean you should get discouraged, clean those pots, check your turtle guards, and get them ready for a new season. Crabbing can be done year round in Delaware, but crab pots have a season from March 1 to November 30th. Size limits are Hard shell – 5”, Soft shell – 3.5″, and Peeler – 3″ … catches are limited to 1 bushel per licensed angler. You need a fishing license to crab in delaware regardless if you are going to fish or not. There is nothing like a lazy day crabbing from a pier, or boat. Whether it is chicken lining, trot lines, crab rings, or just setting pots and checking them later. Remember these regulations from the State of Delaware … “Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two pots. The person claiming to own the pots must be the one to set and tend them. These pots must be marked with all white buoys with the owner’s full name and permanent mailing address inscribed either on the buoy or on a waterproof tag attached to the buoy.
All crab pots must be tended at least once every 72 hours. A turtle by-catch reduction device is required to be attached in each funnel entrance of a recreational crab pot to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering and drowning. A by-catch reduction device is a rigid rectangular frame of plastic or metal that measures 1.75 inches x 4.75 inches and is available at local tackle shops, or can be hand-made from heavy (>11 gauge) wire or other suitable material. ” Also … “Mature females (sooks) are identified by the rounded apron on their under side. Once this stage of development is achieved, females stop growing. Therefore, female blue crabs with a U-shaped apron may be retained at any size. Females bearing eggs, commonly known as sponge crabs, may not be taken and should be returned to the water immediately. “
Hopefully we will have a great crabbing season. Last year was not the best and many feel that the colder frozen winter was the cause. This year the winter was the same so we will have to wait and see how it goes. Crabs are like insects they will rebuild their numbers in no time if given the chance. If you experience an issue with people stealing your crab pots and or crabs, call Fish & Wildlife enforcement … (302) 855 1901 for Sussex county. You can also look on our Emergency Numbers page and book mark it for use later for many issues or help. Good luck this year and have a great season.
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