Blue Crabs- Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays & Tributaries
April 1 through December 31.
- There are no license or registration requirements.
- There are no time of day restrictions.
- The taking of sponge crabs is prohibited.
Minimum Size Limits (measured from tip to tip of spikes)
- Hard crabs—5 inches.
- Soft crabs—3½ inches.
- Peeler crabs
- April 1 through July 14—3¼ inches
- July 15 through December 31—3½ inches
- Mature female crabs—no minimum size
Recreational Crabbing Daily Catch Limits
The daily catch limit in the waters of the Coastal Bays of the Atlantic Ocean and their tidal tributaries is:
- One bushel per person.
- Two bushels per boat if two or more individuals are on the boat.
It is Legal
- To crab in the Coastal Bays of Maryland’s Atlantic Ocean and coastal tributaries using:
- No more than 600 feet of baited trotline, with floats of the same color, size and shape attached to each end; or
- No more than two 600-foot trotlines if two or more persons are in the boat; or
- Dip nets and any number of handlines; or
- No more than 10 or a combination of 10 collapsible crab traps or crab net rings per person from docks, piers, bridges, boats or shoreline; or
- No more than 25, or a combination of 25, collapsible crab traps or crab net rings, if two or more persons are in a boat.
- For waterfront property owners to set a maximum of two crab pots at their property, provided that:
- Pots are marked with the owner’s name and address or DNRid; and
- Crab pots must have 2 cull rings, one measuring at least 23⁄16 inches and one at least 25⁄16 inches, located in the exterior side panel or the top panels of the pot.
- Pot cull rings must be closed from April 23 through May 31.
- Crab pots must have a turtle excluder device attached to each entrance or funnel in the lower chamber constructed of wire or plastic, rectangular in shape not larger than 1¾ inches high by 4¾ inches long.
TURTLE EXCLUDERS ARE REQUIRED
Turtle excluders are required in recreational crab pots in Maryland. These devices prevent terrapins from entering a crab pot without hindering blue crab entry. Without turtle excluders, terrapins can enter crab pots and drown. To get instructions for making your own turtle excluder, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Pages/regulations/crabpot.aspx