Researchers says limits on crabbing since 2008 have helped keep the blue crab population afloat.
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission says it'll hold a public hearing in August on whether to continue its ban on what's known as the winter dredge. That's where watermen scrape the bottom for hibernating crabs in the southern waters of the bay where many crabs settle in after a long migration.
Virginia has had the ban in place for the past four years.
Researchers say Virginia's ban, limits in Maryland, and weather patterns have helped bring the crab population back from the lowest level in twenty years back in 2007. Last year, 89 million pounds of crab were harvested in Virginia and Maryland, the largest amount since 1993.