FWC announces blue crab trap area closure
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Media contact: Wendy Dial, 850-488-9477
The harvest of blue crabs from traps will not be allowed from
Jan. 5 through Jan. 14 in all waters of Franklin County west to the
Florida-Alabama border, except all waters of the Ochlockonee River
and Ochlockonee Bay. This closure will give authorized groups
the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue
crab traps from the coastal and inland waters in the area.
All commercial and recreational blue crab traps within three
nautical miles from shore and in the inland waters of Franklin
County west to the Florida-Alabama border, except all waters of the
Ochlockonee River and Ochlockonee Bay, must be removed before the
start of the 10-day closed period.
The harvest of blue crabs by other gear, such as dip nets and
fold-up traps, will still be permitted during the 10-day
closure. Blue crab harvesters may also use standard blue crab
traps if the traps are attached to private property.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has
cited lost and abandoned blue crab traps to be a problem in the
blue crab fishery because they can still trap crabs and fish when
they are not maintained. They can also be unsightly in the
marine environment, damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational
hazards to boaters on the water.
Lost and abandoned traps cannot easily be distinguished from
legal traps, so they often remain in the water indefinitely.
The 10-day closure will enable FWC-authorized groups to
collect lost and abandoned blue crab traps that remain in the water
during the closed period.
The FWC recently approved three regional 10-day blue crab trap
closures to take place in designated areas in Florida in
odd-numbered years and three other closures in even-numbered years,
effective Jan. 26, 2011. For more information regarding the
FWC's trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates,
regulations, and how you can participate in cleanup events, go to
MyFWC.com/Rules (click on "Fishing - Saltwater"). You can also
contact the FWC's trap-retrieval coordinator, Kyle Miller, at