Climate Change - Frequently Asked Questions
Monday, January 10, 2011
Media contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
The harvest of blue crabs from traps will not be allowed from
Jan. 16 through Jan. 25 in all waters of the St. Johns River
system. This closure will give authorized groups the
opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab
traps from the waters in this area.
All commercial and recreational blue crab traps in the St. Johns
River and its associated lakes and tributaries from west of the St.
Johns River intersection with the Intracoastal Canal, through and
including Lake Hellen Blazes in Brevard County 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 as a problem in the blue
crab fishery, because they can continue to 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. One of these closures is now in
effect in all waters of Franklin County west to the Florida-Alabama
border, except all waters of the Ochlockonee River and Ochlockonee
Bay, through Jan. 14.
More information regarding the FWC's trap-retrieval program,
blue crab trap closure dates, regulations, and how you can
participate in cleanup events is available online at
MyFWC.com/Rules (click on "Fishing - Saltwater"). You can also
contact FWC's trap-retrieval coordinator, Kyle Miller, at