MAGOTHY RIVER, MD. — Maryland Natural Resources Police officers continue to press their “Don’t Get Pinched” crab enforcement campaign, inspecting seafood dealers, roadside stands and commercial and recreational crabbers.
“Late summer and early fall is a great time to go crabbing. The crabs are heavy as they fatten up for winter. But our officers haven’t let down their guard. The ‘Don’t Get Pinched’ message is as valid today as it was in July when we launched our campaign,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent.
Last Saturday, officers on saturation patrol on the Magothy River checked 14 vessels. They issued a citation to Stephan Brinkman, 52, of Bel Air for having 1 ½ bushels of female crabs. State regulations prohibit recreational crabbers from harvesting females.
Brinkman is scheduled to appear in Annapolis District Court on Nov. 21. If found guilty, he could be fined as much as $600.
Patrols on the Choptank River near Cambridge Saturday resulted in 1 citation and 16 warnings being issued to commercial crabbers.
On Aug. 30, officers issued 3 citations to Kathy Jean Carson, 58, of Fairfield, Pa., and seized 186 undersized crabs during a check of roadside vendors in Carroll County.
Carson was selling crabs from the back of her vehicle at the intersection of Old Liberty and Liberty roads in Eldersburg when officers approached and asked to see required paperwork.
Three bushels each contained numerous crabs below Maryland’s minimum size of 5 ¼ inches.
Although the vendor said the crabs might have been from Virginia, where the minimum size is 5 inches, nothing on the bill of sale from the wholesaler indicated that.
Carson could be fined a maximum of $1,000 for each violation. On the first charge of selling a bushel with 25 undersized crabs, she can plead guilty and pay a $400 fine. However, she is required to appear in Carroll District Court on the charges of having one bushel with 74 undersized crabs and the other with 87 undersized crabs. The court date has not been set.
The 186 crabs were donated to the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore County.