Below is an overview of Blue Crab Regulations


  • Increase from 5 inches to 5.25 inches the minimum size for male crabs in the recreational and commercial fisheries beginning Aug. 1. The importation of 5-inch crabs from other states will be allowed.
  • Establish a minimum size of 3.5 inches for peeler crabs and 4 inches for soft crabs. Each is a half-inch increase in minimum size.
  • Ban the possession of sponge crabs in Maryland.
  • Reduce the number of allowed undersize peelers per bushel from 30 to 10 per bushel, and the number of undersized hard crabs from 10 to five per bushel.
  • Maintain the eight-hour workday imposed in 2001 for crab pots and bank-traps, while adding two hours for trotliners and scrapers.

Potomac River

  • Increase to 5.25 inches, effective Aug. 1, the minimum size for both male and female hard crabs. Previously, it had a 5-inch minimum for males, and no size limit for females.
  • Increase to 3.25 inches, effective April 1, the minimum size for peeler crabs, up from 3 inches now. At the same time, remove the size limit on soft crabs, which is now 4 inches.
  • Maintain the 10 percent pot reduction established in 2001.
  • Reopen the month of November to harvesting.


  • Establish an eight-hour work day for commercial crabbers
  • Impose a 3-inch minimum size on peeler crabs. It previously had no limit.
  • Under consideration: Restrictions equivalent to a one week closure of the sponge crab harvest in July, and expanding the blue crab spawning sanctuary, which now exists in water 35 feet and deeper, to areas deeper than 30 feet.