A Day on the Water with the Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey

For decades, the annual blue crab winter dredge survey, conducted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), has provided crucial information for assessing the health of the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population. In March 2023, we joined VIMS researchers as they surveyed the lower Chesapeake Bay at 18 different locations between New Point Comfort and Cape Charles, Virginia. They pulled the dredge along the bottom for 60 seconds at each location, then recorded important information about each crab caught. This is one of many trips by Virginia and Maryland researchers that takes place each winter around the Bay and its tidal rivers to paint a picture of the Bay’s blue crab population.

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