Maryland State Crustacean - Blue Crab

[Color photograph of a blue crab]
Photo by Elizabeth W. Newell

In 1989, the Maryland Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) was designated the State Crustacean (Chapter 724, Acts of 1989; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-301(b)).

Integral to the State's economy, the Maryland Blue Crab harvest is carefully nurtured and eagerly anticipated. The just-right salinity waters of the Wye and Chester Rivers and Eastern Bay frequently result in the harvesting of giant males, called "jimmies."

The meat of the Blue Crab is sometimes compared to the sweetness of a lobster's; the flavor best appreciated by cracking and eating steamed hardshells or feasting on softshells. Crab is prepared in restaurant and home kitchens in innumerable ways: from the famous Maryland Crab Cakes and Crab Imperial, to crab soup and crab dip.

The efficient crab pot is the main means of commercial crab harvesting. The trotline preceded this method and served well for many years; a few stalwart recreational fishermen still prefer crabbing the old-fashioned way, with a net.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998

July 10, 1998   
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