Since 1999, we have tagged mature female blue crabs in both the upper and lower Chesapeake Bay to examine the timing and route of the female migration to the lower Bay spawning grounds. However, this past year we began to tag legal-sized male and female blue crabs in the Rhode River to estimate population size.

2009 Crab Tag Lottery Winners

Wayne Morgan (known to his friends as "Sammy") of Fredericksburg, VA began commercial crabbing in 1984.  He currently crabs in the Potomac River from Quantico to Mathias Point with his helpful first mate, a yellow lab named, "Sandy".  This past fall, Wayne and Sandy caught three tagged mature female blue crabs in the Potomac River - one off Fairview Beach and the others near Caledon State Park - all were released near Quantico, VA a few days before being caught.  Wayne is happy that SERC's blue crab tagging program can track the movements of mature female blue crabs from the rivers into the bay and eventually to spawning grounds, but he is also interested in the movements of crabs from the mainstem of the bay into the tributaries.
Joe Sturmer of Odenton, MD began recreational crabbing with his dad at the age of 12 years old.  After many years of crabbing in the Middle, Severn, Miles and Rhode rivers, he was surprised to catch his first and only tagged blue crab in August 2009.  This male crab was tagged and released in the upper Rhode River in mid-July and caught by Joe a month later nearly two miles downriver in Canning House Bay on a trotline.  Joe was pleased to find out the movement information provided by SERC's blue crab tagging program.  He is also very pleased with the recent increase in the bay's blue crab population.
Mike Spiegel of Stevensville, MD has been commercial crabbing in the Bay since 1984.  Over the last several years, Mike has caught numberous tagged crabs between Sandy Point and West River using crabpots.  Last October, Mike caught one tagged crab off Tolley Point.  This mature female blue crab was tagged and released in Middle River in late August and was caught nearly two months later after traveling over 25 miles down the Bay.