Everyone has a different marker signaling warm weather ahead: Blooming flowers. Breaking out the flip flops. A friend even interpreted an uptick in roadkill as a sign that spring had — finally — sprung.
But for many locals, one symbol beats the rest: Crabs! Chesapeake crabs to be exact.
After a steep drop in bay’s crab population, we saw a rebound last year thanks to strict regulations in Virginia and Maryland limiting the female crab harvest. Maryland’s blue crab population jumped 60 percent — its highest level in more than a decade — but numbers were still below goal.
Last month, early crab census numbers indicated another hopeful year ahead; official population survey results are expected this month.
Now, as we wait for the final results from the Department of Natural Resources, there’s no reason not to whet our appetites:
And don’t forget to check out the Food section’s Recipe Finder for preparing crab dishes at home.