Stone Crab Season is Almost Here!
Stone Crab Season is Almost Here!!
Wednesday October 15th marks the start of Florida’s stone crab season. State water harvest is open until May 15th. To be harvested, stone crabs claws must reach at least 2.75” long when measured from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable portion of the claw (picture below). Both claws can be harvested if they reach legal size but we recommend that only one is taken to permit the crab to defend itself from predators.
All crabs should be checked for the presence of eggs prior to declawing. An egg bearing female will have orange or brown/grey eggs on the underside. If eggs are detected, the crabs should be immediately placed back in the water. It is illegal to harvest eggs from an egg bearing female. Extended periods of time out of the water can damage or kill the delicate eggs.
Daily bag limit: 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel (whichever is less)
Stone crabs can be legally caught by hand, with a dip net, landing net, or by trap. It is illegal to use devises that can puncture, injure, or crush the crab’s body. Illegal methods include spears, hooks, or similar devices.
- Each person can set a maximum of five traps.
- The maximum trap size is 24”X 24” X 24” or eight cubit feet
- Traps can be made from wood, wire, or plastic.
- NEW: Round throats shall not exceed 5” in diameter and are prohibited in Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade counties.
- NEW: The throat or entrance must be 5 1/2” by 3 1/8” in Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade.
- The trap must have a degradable panel 5 1/2” by 3 1/2 inches made of untreated cypress or pine.
- The harvesters name and address must be permanently affixed and legible
- The buoy need to be no smaller than 6” and must be marked with an “R” that is at least 2” tall
- Buoys are not required if trap is fished from a dock.
- Traps can only be checked during daylight hours
- Traps cannot be placed in navigational channels.
How to harvest a stone crab claw
For more information please visit the FWC website