Recreational Crabbing Licenses & Crab Pot Registration
Purchase your license or obtain a free registration from Maryland’s Online Licensing Service, COMPASS. https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/
Licenses and Fees
Crabbing licenses and registrations are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase/registration.
Maryland Resident – $5
Non-Resident – $10
Maryland Resident who possesses a Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License or a Resident Senior Consolidated Sport Fishing License – $2
Recreational Crabbing Boat License* – $15
Waterfront Property Crab Pot Registration – Free
*Recreational Crabbing Boat License
A person that purchases a recreational crabbing boat license receives a decal that must be attached to their boat. When the decal is attached to the boat the individuals on the boat do not need to be licensed to catch crabs. The decal allows the use of gear (trotlines and collapsible traps or net rings) that would otherwise require a separate recreational crabbing license. The decal is equivalent to one recreational crabbing license. See the licensed boat limits on Blue Crabs—Chesapeake Bay.
The person who purchases the boat license is issued an individual crabbing license that can be used when the individual is not on their boat.
Who Needs A Maryland Recreational Crabbing License?
Anyone who uses the following gear:
- Collapsible crab traps
- Eel pots for own bait
- Net Rings
Additionally, anyone who uses other legal gear to catch more than the following quantity of crabs:
- More than 24 with a limit of one bushel of male hard crabs
- More than 12 with a limit of 24 soft crabs or male peelers
Crabbing License Exemptions
You do not need a license if you are using the following gear:
- Dip nets
If you are crabbing without a license using license-exempt gear, you are still limited to the unlicensed crabber limits of no more than 24 male hard crabs and no more than 12 soft crabs or male peeler crabs.
You also do not need a license if you are:
- Assisting another individual who has a recreational crabbing license
- Crabbing from a boat that is displaying a recreational crabbing boat decal
Waterfront Property Crab Pot Registration
Registration – Annual
An owner, lessee, or tenant of a private shoreline property may use a maximum of two crab pots, regardless of the number of owners or lessees of the property, and must be annually registered with the department. The registration is free and it does NOT count as a recreational crabbing license.
Private property crab pots set in the Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays and their tributaries do NOT need to be registered.
A recreational crabbing license is not required in the Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays and their tributaries.
License Free Fishing Areas
|Maryland features many areas where recreational anglers can fish year-round without a fishing license. When fishing in these areas you are exempt from all license and stamp fees and requirements. You are required to observe all other fishing rules. A free MD/PRFC angler registration is also required for anglers fishing without a license in designated license free fishing areas located in tidal water, you may register online through the Maryland licensing system.|
|Anne Arundel|| |
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|Caroline County|| |
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|Dorchester County|| |
|Frederick County|| |
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|Somerset County|| |
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|Worcester County|| |