News Release
    Tuesday, October 09, 2012
    Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

    Get your claw crackers ready, because Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab
    claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters.

    To be harvested, stone crab claws must be at least 2 3/4 inches in length when measured
    from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable portion of the claw (see illustration).

    Claws may not be taken from egg-bearing female stone crabs. Recreational harvesters
    can use up to five stone crab traps per person. Stone crabs may not be harvested with any
    device that can puncture, crush or injure the crab body. Examples of devices that can cause
    this kind of damage include spears and hooks. Recreational and commercial traps may be
    baited and placed in the water 10 days prior to the opening of the season but may not be
    pulled from the water for harvest purposes until Oct. 15.

    Both claws of the stone crab may be taken if the claws are of legal size, but this practice
    leaves the crab with few alternatives to defend itself from predators. Crabs that are 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 other claw faster. There is a recreational daily bag limit of one
    gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less.

    The season will be open through May 15, 2013.

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

    More information on harvesting stone crabs.

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Stone crab season opens Oct. 15, 2012 in state, federal waters
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