The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the results of the 2021 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, which annually estimates the number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.
The 2021 results showed that the spawning age female numbers increased from 141 million in 2020 to 158 million. This year’s survey estimate is above the long-term average of 126 million spawning age female crabs. But it also recorded the lowest number of juveniles on record. It is never exactly clear what causes the fluctuations from year to year with many factors beyond control. But fisheries managers target the level of female crabs with the hope that with enough eggs produced, the crab population will achieve sustainable levels for the longer term. For more information, visit https://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2021/05/21/chesapeake-bay-blue-crab-population-shows-healthy-female-abundance/