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Crab Population Down This Year

Creative Commons

Not as many crabs are showing up this year on the boats of watermen in the Chesapeake Bay this year.

Jack Brooks, a co-owner at J.M. Clayton Company in Cambridge told WBOC that he believes Hurricane Sandy which killed a large number of crabs last October may be one reason for the decline.

Other reasons he said include an overabundance of striped bass and other fish that are feeding on small crabs.

He said the protected fish like striped bass need to be fished more to even out the ecosystem.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said it has not gotten reports of striped bass as being a problem.

The Winter Dredge report did say that Red Drum fish could be an issue this season.

That survey also found that the number of Blue Crabs had dropped from $765 million last year to $300-million this year.

Another problem Brooks said appears to be the Conogwingo Dam up north which is now having a problem keeping sediment from the Susquehanna River from entering the Bay.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.