News Releases

Stone crab season to open; FWC extending state regulations into federal waters

News Release

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-487-0554

Get your claw-crackers ready, because Florida's recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest seasons open Saturday Oct. 15.

Stone crab claws must be at least 2¾ inches in length to be harvested legally, but claws may not be taken from egg-bearing female stone crabs. Recreational harvesters are allowed to use up to five stone crab traps, and there is a daily bag limit of one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less. Recreational and commercial traps may be baited and placed in the water beginning Oct. 5, but none may be pulled until Oct. 15. The season lasts until May 16, 2012.

Though stone crab harvest rules will remain the same, the FWC voted in June to extend state management regulations for stone crabs into federal waters. This came after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted to repeal the Fishery Management Plan for stone crabs in federal waters and allow the FWC to manage them in all waters surrounding Florida. This change goes into effect Oct. 24.

For more information on harvesting stone crabs for fun, as well as commercial stone crab regulations and licensing information, go to MyFWC.com/Rules and click on "Fishing - Saltwater."

Visit the Fresh from Florida website at FL-seafood.com for ideas on how to turn your stone crab catch into a feast the family will love.



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