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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Watermen Debate Crab Season Duration

CHURCH CREEK, Md. - Dorchester County watermen dropped anchor at the Church Creek fire station on Wednesday to cast a vote on the female crab harvesting deadline. The topic alone has caused a divide amongst watermen.

"The problem here now is some crabbers aren't going to crab until November 21 anyway," said Dorchester Seafood Harvester's Association President Scott Todd. "But there are some crabbers that work in the lower part of the bay where these extra nine days are a considerable amount of money for these guys so DNR has left it up to us to decide."

The decision between a Nov. 10 or a Nov. 21 deadline means a lot to watermen like Joel Hayden. He said that for him it is more feasible to crab until Nov. 21.

"I would like to crab until Nov. 21 because I work in the lower part of the bay and it takes longer for the crabs to get to us," Hayden said.

But others want to be able to catch the majority of their crabs in the summer months when they are worth the most money. Bubby Powely voted for the Nov. 10 deadline and thinks it is best for all.

"For me it's a no-brainer," said Powley. "I voted the way I did the first time....thinking about everybody, not just me."
Then there are those who are not sure.

Waterman John Jorette said both deadlines have benefits and both have their pitfalls.

"The Nov. 10 closure is better for catching limits, but Nov. 21 gives us more time to work," Jorette said. "I am on the fence. I don't know which scenario would be the best one for us."

Watermen are split on the decision, but agree they want to remain united.

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