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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Blue Crabs

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A fishing license is required to crab in all waters of the State of Delaware.

The blue crab is common in all the tidal waters of Delaware. It is a popular recreational resource and tops the list of the State’s economically important marine fish and shellfish.

Blue crabs grow very quickly and reach maturity in 12 to 18 months. Most do not live beyond two years under current exploitation levels.

In order to grow, a blue crab must shed its shell and form a new shell. This process is repeated up to 18 times to attain maximum length. It is legal to take crabs at three stages, but to get the most yield in weight out of a crab, they should reach a minimum length before being harvested. This is measured from point to point of the top shell.

The minimum size for male blue crab is 5 inches. 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.

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. All crab pots must be removed from the water between December 1 and February 28. Recreational crabbers may use a trot line (no length limit) and any number of hand lines or traps. The recreational daily limit is one bushel per person.

jimmycrab.tif

Jimmy
Mature Male

sookcrab.tif

She-crab
Immature Female

shecrab.tif

Sook
Mature Female

spongecrab.tif

(Orange eggs under the apron)
Sponge Crab
Female with Eggs

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.

Fishing Dollars at Work

Where Do Your Fishing License Dollars Go?

Your license and trout stamp purchases allow the Division to secure additional federal Sport Fish Restoration funds used for fisheries research, maintenance and construction of fishing areas, and aquatic education. Please note that anglers exempted from purchasing a fishing license may voluntarily purchase a license and/or trout stamp to support these activities. The Division is grateful to anglers that contribute to our mission in this way. For more information, please visit us at www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries.

License-$s.psd

 

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: Division of Fish and Wildlife allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: Division of Fish and Wildlife Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: Division of Fish and Wildlife neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com