WATCH: Stone Crab Harvest Season Has Begun, Includes New Recreational Trap Requirements

By  //  October 16, 2019

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The season will be open through May 15, 2020

ABOVE VIDEO: Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters. Recreational harvesters who are age 16 and older and fish with traps are now required to complete an online, no-cost recreational stone crab trap registration and place their registration number on their traps before using them.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season has begun in state and federal waters.

New Recreational Trap Requirements

Recreational harvesters who are age 16 and older and fish with traps are now required to complete an online, no-cost recreational stone crab trap registration and place their registration number on their traps before using them.

To register, CLICK HERE and add the Recreational Stone Crab Trap Registration to your fishing license account.

Upon completion, each person will receive unique trap registration numbers that must be included on each trap along with the owner’s full name and address.

This information must be legible and must be permanently attached to each trap.

This no-cost registration will allow the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to collect important information about these recreational fisheries, which is needed for future stock assessments and management decisions.

To be harvested, stone crab claws must be at least 2.75 inches in length when measured from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable portion of the claw. (FWC image)

Other Regulations

To be harvested, stone crab claws must be at least 2.75 inches in length when measured from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable portion of the claw.

Harvesters are encouraged to take only one claw, even if both claws are of legal size, so the released crab will be better able to defend itself from predators.

A crab that is returned to the water with one claw intact will be able to obtain more food in a shorter amount of time and therefore regrow its claw faster. There is a recreational daily bag limit of 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel, whichever is less.

Claws may not be taken from egg-bearing stone crabs. Stone crabs may not be harvested with any device that can puncture, crush or injure a crab’s body. Examples of devices that can cause this kind of damage include spears and hooks.

Recreational harvesters may use up to five stone crab traps per person.

Traps that are not being fished should be removed from the water to avoid ghost fishing, a process in which marine species get caught in the trap for extended periods of time and are not harvested.

The season will be open through May 15, 2020, closing May 16.

Stone crab regulations are the same in state and federal waters.

To register, CLICK HERE and add the Recreational Stone Crab Trap Registration to your fishing license account.

Claws may not be taken from egg-bearing stone crabs. Stone crabs may not be harvested with any device that can puncture, crush or injure a crab’s body. Examples of devices that can cause this kind of damage include spears and hooks.
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