Decline in Chesapeake crab population sparks hunt for answers

Commercial crabbers in Maryland and Virginia aren’t catching their limits, and the harvest in the first few months of the season was so meager that some gave up trying. “Crabs are so scarce that me and my son are still catfishing,” Billy Rice, a Charles County, MD, waterman, said in June. “We’re making more money catfishing than we would be crabbing.” Based on what they see on the water, crabbers have no shortage of theories about why the Bay’s most prized catch is hard to find: Changes in water quality, climate change and an influx of crab-eating fish top the list. Whatever the case, said J. C. Hudgins, president of the Virginia Waterman’s Association. “Mother Nature has throwed a wrench in the barrel.” >click to read< 14:23

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