Assessment of blue crab in Chesapeake Bay

The blue crab population in Chesapeake Bay is managed cooperatively by the State of Maryland , the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission. With support from these three jurisdictions and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, the blue crab population and the fisheries its supports has been assessed every 3-7 years since 1992. Here we provide the most recent information on the status, trends and management refrence points for the blue crab population.

The most recent assessment of blue crab in Chesapeake Bay was completed in 2011.This assessment developed new sex-specific reference points for management, recommending exploitation-based and abundance-based target and limit reference points. In 2009, the last year for which full data are available, the blue crab population was not overfished, nor was it experiencing overfishing when compared to these reference points. The stock was assessed to be below target abundance in 2009, but survey data indicated that it was expected to be above target abundance in 2010.

Funding Agencies


Previous Assessments

The blue crab population has been assessed for management every 3-7 years since 1992.

2005 Assessment

Limits and Targets (2001)

Miller and Houde 1999

Rugolo et al. 1997

Cooperating Institutions

UMCES Chesapeake Biological Lab
Smithsonian Institution Environmetnal Research Center
Site last updated on: 8/9/2011
Hosted by the Quantitative Fisheries Ecology Lab at the UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory