Recreational crabbing is allowed from April 1 through December 31.
There are no license requirements or time of day restrictions.
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
The taking of sponge crabs is prohibited.
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 DNRid number; and
- Pot cull rings must be closed from April 23 through May 31.
For additional information on pot dimensions, see the Crab Pot Section.