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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 06-19-2013
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Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

We just got back from sailing in the Chesapeake for a week. It amazes me that people continue to put crab pots pretty much anywhere they like, even directly in channels. This was really bad in Bodkin Creek off the Patapsco, and at the entrance to the Rhode River.

Does anyone know who to contact to make this known? Its a hazard when there are several boats trying to stumble their way through these at the same time all going in different directions.

I think there should be a designated area where crab pots are allowed, and it should be marked off.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

I can't agree with you more. I think the only thing you can do is complain they are a hazard to navigation and maybe if enough people complain they will ban it from easily used channels but I'm not holding my breath. It would seem that "sports" that appeal to rural southerners get priority in this country.

Last edited by northoceanbeach; 06-19-2013 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Said something I didn't mean
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I am pretty sure most of those pots are not "hillbilly sports" but an actual means of making a living and supplying the US with seafood. I agree they should not be in the channel, but there is no possible way they could have a designated crabbing area. That would literally cripple the crabbers and end their livelihood. They have to place pots wherw the crab are. It may be a nuisance to cruisers, but I have grown up on the fishing docks and these are hardworking people who are already struggling to survive.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

northoceanbeach: The ones that you are seeing around here are commercial pots, not recreational. Recreational crab season starts on July 1st, then there will be far more pots out there.

They aren't too hard to avoid, you don't see many in deep water.

I am always surprised at how many are put in the middle of navigation channels. For instance the south end of Agate Pass is littered with them.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

Amen, brotha!

The multiple crab pots in every direction alone are too easy. If it is a nice day, every powerboater within five miles will all anchor in the only navigable channel and throw lines across every conceivable path. If you leave the channel to avoid them you will run into the fish nets, strung on large, unlighted poles in odd places and a surprising distance from the shore.

Welcome to the Chesapeake!
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

I am all for supporting watermen, but they should not be putting pots in the channels. That would be like a farmer planting corn in the middle of the highway.
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

Put a line cutter on your prop shaft and forget about the crab pot lines.
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wavedancer38 View Post
I am all for supporting watermen, but they should not be putting pots in the channels. That would be like a farmer planting corn in the middle of the highway.
I know some places where the corn would improve the highways....

At least you could get a snack while driving.

Erm free crab snack if you get tangled?
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

We sail around Bodkin Point a lot as we are in Rock Creek ( crab pot free) and for the most point there are very few crab pots in the actual channel leading into the Bodkin Creek. What you experienced is the global cluster srrounding that. There really is no large designated channel except from the G7 into the creek. The other markers mark the shoals. If you draw a line from G to the BCRG and stay outside you will find very little pots.

Also the Rhode/ West River does have a lot of crab pots around the way in, but I have not noticed them in the true channel heading in.

North Point has them also.

It would be hard and unfair to restrict the commercial or recreational crabbers to areas as most of the Chesapeake does not have established "channels". They have as much right to use the water as the rest of us.

I think for the most part the crabbers stay away from the channels because they dont want to have their pots destroyed or chewed up but the boats also. I usually can follow thier lines and stay ouside of them.

Its always been this way on the Chesapeake with the rec boaters sharing with crabbers. Its a fact of life. You sai the Chessie you take your chances.

BTW same holds true up north in the LI Sound or off the coast of Maine.

Dave
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Re: Crab Pots in Channels, oh My!

We also encountered a few pots in the Bodkin channel this weekend. One possible explanation might be the recent storms or the resulting tide/surge/water influx pushing/shifting a pot or two into the channel since they are already super close. I don't typically encounter crab pots in the navigatable "channels" of the bay.

We often approach the Bodkin from the north as we are coming from Rock Creek and have to dodge the field of crab pots. Last weekend we were returning from a trip to the Magothy and approached from the south and encountered way less crab pots.

I would be happy if most crab pots had highly visible floats. The black floats on cloudy days with a little chop are tough to see...

Josh
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