Department of Environmental Conservation

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Recreational Blue Crab Survey

All links of this page leave DEC's website.

How you can help:

  • Complete a short interview with DEC biologists while you are crabbing, OR;
  • At the end of each of your crabbing trips, enter you information into the Digital Survey of Recreational Blue Crabbing.
  • The information you provide us will help to improve the monitoring and management of the New York blue crab fishery.

Blue Crab Intercept Survey

blue crabs in a bucket

NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources (DMR) staff will be randomly sampling different popular recreational crabbing sites along the shores of the Great South Bay each month throughout the summer season. At each of these sites, DMR staff will be interviewing recreational crabbers to collect information about their crabbing trip. For example, we will ask you what time you started crabbing, when you expect to finish, and what type of gear you are using. The information you provide will help us better understand how your crabbing effort relates to the quantity of your catch. NYSDEC staff will also ask to count and measure your blue crabs. This helps us obtain information about the size, sex, and maturity of the blue crabs that the recreational community catches. Once we have measured your crabs, we will return them to you. If you are approached by DMR staff for an interview while you are crabbing this summer, we would greatly appreciate your participation in the process.

Digital Survey of Recreational Blue Crabbing

You can now help DMR biologists collect important data by submitting information from each of your crabbing trips to the Digital Survey of Recreational Blue Crabbing. Simply fill out the quick and easy form on your internet connected smart phone, tablet, or computer at the end of each of your crabbing trips. Remember to submit information for the trips where you don't catch any crabs. Submitting information on trips with no catch is important because this information affects the success rate we observe within the fishery (i.e. catch per unit effort). Your information will directly contribute to the data that biologists use to assess the success of recreational crabbers, and trends in the blue crab population from year-to-year. By participating in the digital survey, you will provide DMR staff with important data which we would otherwise be unable to collect. We look forward to your participation in the digital survey!

Why do these surveys matter?

The combined catch and effort information provided from the intercept survey and digital survey will help DMR biologists to more accurately characterize the recreational blue crab harvest in the NY marine district. If we can determine the number of blue crabs harvested from both the recreational and commercial blue crab fisheries, we can move toward developing a minimum estimate of the blue crab population size in the NY marine district. Obtaining accurate harvest estimates is a vital step towards effectively managing the blue crab fishery. Additionally, by collecting both catch and effort data, we are able to calculate catch per unit effort (CPUE) for the recreational blue crab fishery. Catch per unit effort helps DMR biologists better understand the success of recreational crabbers, and trends in the blue crab population from year-to-year. For more information about this data, read the annual report on recreational blue crabbing in the New York Marine & Coastal District.

Annual Report on Recreational Blue Crabbing in the New York Marine & Coastal District

2016 Recreational Blue Crab Fishery Report (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Quick Access to the Digital Survey

Follow these directions to add quick and easy access to the Digital Survey from your smart phone or tablet's home screen.

For Apple devices:
First, open the digital survey on your browser. Select the Share button at the bottom center of the iPhone screen. The Share button is shaped like a square with an arrow coming out of the top (on the iPad, the Share button is located in the top bar). Next, select the item labeled "Add to Home Screen". Finally, tap the Add button in the top right corner to create the icon on the Home screen.

For Android devices:
First, open the digital survey on your browser. Tap on the three vertical dots found on the top right of the screen. Next, click "Add to Home Screen".

Your smart phone or tablet should now have an icon on the home screen which will take you directly to the Digital Survey making it easier for you to report all of your crabbing trips.