The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife is reminding recreational crabbers to make sure that a turtle by-catch device is installed in their crab pots before using them.
State regulations on crabbing include:·
-A Delaware recreational fishing license is required for crabbing.·
-Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two crab pots.
-Recreational crab pots must be tended by the owner at least once every 72 hours and must be marked with white buoys with the owner’s name and permanent mailing address. ·
-A turtle by-catch reduction device is required to be attached in the funnel entrance of recreational crab pots to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pots and drowning. The device is a rigid rectangular frame made of metal or plastic that measures 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches. By-catch devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire.·
-Recreational crabbers may use any number of hand lines, traps or trot lines (no length limit).·
- Minimum “keeper” size for male blue crabs and immature female crabs with the V-shaped apron is 5 inches, measured across the shell from point to point.·
-Mature female crabs, identified by the U-shaped apron, are exempt from the minimum size of 5 inches because many females reach maturity at a smaller size. ·
-Mature female blue crabs bearing eggs, known as sponge crabs and recognizable by the orange eggs visible under the apron, may not be taken and must be returned to the water immediately. ·
-The recreational daily limit on blue crabs is one bushel per person.
Also, recreational anglers who fish, crab or clam in tidal or non-tidal waters statewide must have a valid Delaware fishing license. A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Higher license prices apply to non-resident anglers. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware.
For more information, call (302) 739-9914 or visit delaware-fin.com.