Report: Chesapeake Bay blue crab population most plentiful in years

BETHESDA, Md. (FOX 5 DC) -- An annual survey of the blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay shows a 60 percent increase in the population compared to last year.

The population is the highest since 2012, according to the Blue Crab Advisory Report.

Robert T. Brown, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association, says the report is positive, but there is reason to be cautious.

Brown says crabs must still battle the invasive blue catfish as well as rockfish, which are predators. Recent heavy rains have also changed the bay's salinity, pushing crabs further south.

Yen Lee, general manager at Bethesda Crab House, says a more plentiful crab population allows the restaurant to use more Maryland crabs, which are better quality than those imported from the Gulf Coast.

Price is not likely to change, as experts say it takes several years of increases in population to lower prices.

"The population increase isn't that much of a population increase when it comes to the price becoming less. There are more of them but not more of a lot. More of a little," Lee said.