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A chicken neck, a string and a net are all you need to go crabbing

A chicken neck tied to a string and a crab net in hand are all it takes to do a bit of crabbing from your dock. It’s been that way for generations.

But did you know that the Virginia Marine Resources Commission has regulations for recreational crabbing in state waters?

This year’s rules, posted April 10, include guidelines for home crabbers.

No license is needed for the activity of taking up to one bushel of hard crabs and two dozen peeler crabs in any day, for personal use, whether by dip net, hand line (e.g., “chicken necking” the VMRC calls this activity), or up to two commercial-style crab pots.

Also, the use of one tank or float up to 4x8 feet for shedding crabs for personal use is allowed.

Licenses are required, however, for recreational uses of commercial gear that include one crab trap or pound ($6); crab trotline up to 300 feet ($10); or 3-5 recreational crab pots with terrapin excluder ($36) or without ($45) with restrictions.

A cast net license at $10 can ...

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