How Long Is Crabbing Season?

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Crabbing season varies in length in different locations. In some places it is as short as several days while in other places it last for months. Crabbing season is subject to change in any location based on conditions so check with your local authorities each year to make sure of the exact dates.

Alaska King Crab

Alaska is famous as one of the most dangerous crabbing seasons. On average, one person dies each week while crabbing off the coast of Alaska. The season is extremely short, lasting for only a few days during the winter each year. Authorities have limited the crabbing season because of the rapid decline in the King Crab's numbers. By some estimates, in 2011 there were only 10 per cent of the historical average.

Alaska Opilio Crab

Alaska Opilio Crab fishing usually begins in January and lasts until a predetermined quota of crabs is met. Usually this lasts about one month. The number of Opilio Crab in the Bering Sea off Alaska has also seen a rapid drop in recent years. In 1998, over 243 million pounds of crab were harvested while in 2004 only 24 million pounds were harvested. There has been a small uptick since then as measures were put in place to sustain the population.

Maryland Blue Crab

Maryland is another location that seems to be synonymous with crab fishing. However, restrictions have become greater and greater as the crab population shrinks dramatically. Depending on the levels of crab population surveyed during the winter, the authorities announce how long fishing season will last. The crab season will last from a few weeks to a few months during the warmer months of June through August.

Florida Stone Crab

Florida Stone Crab is another popularly fished crab. The harvest takes place primarily on the southern coast in Key West where 40 per cent of the state's haul occurs. The season can last for several months beginning in May. Again, authorities determine each year how long the crab season will last in order to protect the population.