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Recreational Crabbing Licenses

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Crabbing licenses are valid from April 1 through December 31 of each calendar year.

2013 Licenses & Fees

Maryland Resident $5.00 – Non-Resident $10.00

Maryland Resident who possesses a Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing License or a Resident Senior Consolidated Sport Fishing License $2.00

Recreational Crab Boat License* $15.00

Consolidated Chesapeake Bay Sport & Coastal Boat License* $50.00

An individual under 16 years of age may crab without a license in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and is restricted to the same limits as an unlicensed crabber.

*One individual crabbing license is included for the individual who purchases this license.


Who Needs A Maryland Recreational Crabbing License?

Anyone who uses the following gear or takes the following quantity of crabs must possess a recreational crabbing license:

  • Trotline—1200 feet of baited line maximum allowed. Floats must be the same size, color and shape
  • 11 to 30 traps or rings or combination of traps and rings
  • Up to 10 eel pots for own bait
  • More than 2 dozen with a limit of 1 bushel of hard crabs
  • More than 1 dozen with a limit of 2 dozen soft crabs or peelers

License Exemptions

A license is not required of anyone who uses only the following gear and takes the following quantity of crabs:

  • 10 or fewer traps and rings or combination of traps and rings
  • Dipnet
  • Handlines
  • No more than 2 dozen hard crabs
  • No more than 1 dozen soft crabs or peelers

A license is not required for a private shoreline property owner or lessee.

A maximum of two crab pots per waterfront property may be used, regardless of the number of property owners or lessees.

A license is not required to recreationally harvest crabs in the Coastal Bays, tributaries and the Atlantic Ocean.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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