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One of the surveys stated that the female carab population was down which doesnt make sense when attributing the population increase to conservation efforts.
What about the record mild winter and spring, could that be the reason for a population spike due to minimal over-wintering mortality loses? We all know that wild animals have a constant struggle to survive the winter and crabs are no different.
People cant take credit for the weather so they only focus on "their" conservation efforts.
Lets wait until next year to see what the population looks like before we give credit to conservation.

is a map available which shows the low oxygen areas of the Bay?

I agree we can't manipulate the weather and nature is going to surprise us with some resiliency.
An estuary like the Chesapeake Bay is an awesome treasure. Conservation efforts in Tampa Bay Estuary have brought unbelievable success in cleaning up that once-extremely-polluted bay.
The Chesapeake's a bigger bathtub, but if the Chesapeake could see that kind of progress it would be awesome, and re-pay, in countless ways. Meticulous study and conservation efforts (in tandem with luck, nature and a few prayers) are so crucial for management and restoration.
Kudos and congrats to our conservationists, scientists, volunteers, businesses and citizens for their on-going work-in-progress. Be great to see more oyster mariculture happening in the Chesapeake!

Interesting points, Mark. One theory is that the number of female crabs seemed to be "down" this past winter simply because the weather was so warm, the females did not retreat to their normal deep water bottoms to hibernate (where the scientists look for them). Perhaps they remained in shallow waters, where the survey did not count them.

Kathy, many of the low oxygen zones are commonly in the deepest parts of the bay during the summer. Although sometimes dead zones pop up elsewhere, and sudden drops in oxygen levels can kill fish even in shallow embayments and tributaries.

I'll see if I can find a map.

If just restrictions made such a difference, image the change improved water quality could make! Having restrictions while also improving water quality could really help the population levels and keep the crabbing industry alive and well.

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