Soft-Shell Crabs Abundant this Crabbing Season - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Soft-Shell Crabs Abundant this Crabbing Season

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CRISFIELD, Md.-Crabbing season may be off to a slow start when it comes to hard-shell crabs, but that is not the case for soft-shell crabs.

Randall Burke has been a crabber for 40 years. Inside his crab house, located on Boat Harbor in Crisfield, are water-filled trays filled with hundreds of soft-shell crabs. Burke said the abundance of soft crabs is the most they[crabbers] have seen in recent years. 

"The soft crabs are great, " Burke said. "There's a lot more soft crabs than it was last year, but the hard crabs were not too plentiful earlier this year." 
   
That has been the case for several crabbers on the harbor. Steven Holland, who finished crabbing around noon on Wednesday, said it is unusual  for hard-shell crabs to be scarce this time of year. 

"We're not catching as many, " Holland said. " When the weather gets straight and all that, we'll start catching more." 

Burke sells his crabs by the bushel, and Holland sells his by the crab itself.  Both agree that spring's cooler temperatures are to blame for crabs staying beneath the surface. 
Burke expects the season to even out over the next few months. 
     
"There's a lot of small crabs on the bottom that later on in the year, they're going to mature to adult crabs and then we should be okay with them." 
    
Crabbers said consumers may feel the effects of the shortage in hard-shell crabs this Memorial Day weekend.
For now, employees with Crisfield's Glenwood Evans said the price of a bushel of hard-shell male crabs is $200, and a bushel of hard-shell female crabs is $100. 
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