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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 — Chesapeake Bay & Its Tidal Tributaries

Brought to you by:

Season

April 1 through December 15.

Harvest Restrictions

The recreational harvest of female hard crabs or peelers is not permitted.

Time of Day

  • Time restrictions in rivers, creeks and tributaries:
    • April and October through Dec. 15—One half hour after sunrise to sunset.
    • May through September—One half hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • Time of day restrictions in Chesapeake Bay:
    • April and October through Dec. 15—One half hour after sunrise to 5:00pm.
    • May through September—One half hour before sunrise to 5:00pm.
  • It is illegal to set, place or fish crabbing gear prior to or after the prescribed time restrictions.
  • Using properly registered crab pots on private property, dip nets or handlines is permitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Day of Week

No recreational crabbing is allowed on Wednesdays except:

  • When using crab pots from private property;
  • When using handlines or dip nets;
  • During a week when a state or federal holiday falls on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Minimum Size Limits
(measured from tip to tip of spikes)

  • Male Hard Crab
    • April 1 to July 14 — 5 inches
    • July 15 to December 15 — 5¼ inches
  • Male Peeler Crab
    • April 1 to July 14 — 3¼ inches
    • July 15 to December 15 — 3½ inches
  • Soft Crab
    • April 1 to December 15 — 3½ inches

It is Illegal for a Recreational Crabber:

  • To sell crabs.
  • To possess an egg-bearing (sponge) crab or any female hard or peeler crab.
  • To set or fish a trotline, collapsible trap or crab net ring within 100 feet of another individual’s set gear.
  • To fish crab gear which belongs to another person.
  • To harvest crabs while SCUBA diving.

The Amount of Gear Allowed for Unlicensed and Licensed Recreational Crabbing

License Status

Handlines and Dip Nets

Crab Pots on Private Property

Trotline

Collapsible Traps and Net Rings

Seine

Eel Pots

Unlicensed

Unlimited

A maximum of 2 registered crab pots per property regardless of the number of owners or lessees.

For additional information on registration, labeling, pot dimensions and turtle excluder devices see the Crab Pot Section.

Not Allowed

Not Allowed

Not Allowed

Not Allowed

Licensed

Unlimited

  • Up to 1200ft*
  • Must have floats of the same color, size, shape on each end
  • Floats must be marked with your DNRid
  • Up to 30 traps, rings or combination of both*
  • Must be marked with a buoy bearing your DNRid unless attached to a pier, wharf or boat
  • Traps must have a flat bottom measuring no more than 20 inches by 15 inches and have no more than four articulated sides
  • Net rings must have a diameter less than or equal to 30 inches
  • Mesh cannot be greater than ¼”
  • Cannot exceed 50’ in width and 5’ in height
  • Must be emptied from shore
  • Up to 10 eel pots for catching your own bait
  • Must be labeled with your DNRid and may not be set in a buoy-free channel

Daily Creel/Possession Limits

The recreational harvest of female hard crabs or female peeler crabs in not permitted.

license

Daily Creel / Possession Limit

Male Hard Crabs

Male Peelers, Soft crabs or combination

Unlicensed Individual

  • From shore
  • From unlicensed boat
  • From waterfront crab pots

2 dozen

1 dozen

Licensed Individual

  • From shore
  • From unlicensed boat
  • From waterfront crab pots

1 bushel

2 dozen

Boat Limits

Unlicensed BOAT

With 2 or more unlicensed

4 dozen

1 dozen

With 1 licensee and any number of unlicensed individuals

1 bushel

2 dozen

With 2 or more licensees and any number of unlicensed individuals

2 bushels

2 dozen

Licensed BOAT

  • With 1 or more unlicensed
  • With 1 licensee
  • With owner and any number of unlicensed individuals

1 bushel

2 dozen

  • With 2 or more licensees with any number of unlicensed individuals
  • With a licensee who is not the owner and any number of unlicensed individuals

2 bushels

2 dozen

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources 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 Maryland Department of Natural Resources 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 Maryland Department of Natural Resources 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