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Recreational Stone Crabbing

    Stone Crab Limits
  • No females with eggs
  • 2 3/4-inch claw
  • Open season: Oct. 15 - May 15
  • Bag limit: 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel, whichever is less

    Stone Crab Harvesting Gear
  • It is unlawful to use any device on the taking of stone crabs that can puncture,
    crush, or injure the crab body, such as spears, grains, grabs, hooks or similar
  • Maximum of 5 stone crabs traps per person as described in the summary of stone
    crab trapping rules below.
    Stone Crab Trapping Rules
  • 5-trap maximum.
  • Buoy must have a legible "R" at least two inches high, permanently affixed to it.
    Buoys are not required if trap is fished from a dock.
  • Trap shall have harvester's name and address permanently affixed to it in legible
  • Traps must be pulled manually (not by a trap-puller). Any vessel that is rigged with
    a trap-puller will be considered a commercial vessel and the appropriate licenses
    will be required.
  • Traps must be pulled only during daylight hours.
  • Traps must not be placed in navigational channels of the Intracoastal waterways,
    or in navigational channels maintained and marked by any county, municipal, state
    or federal governmental agency.
  • A Florida recreational fishing license is required to harvest stone crabs under the
    recreational fishing regulations.
  • Stone crab trap specifications are the same for recreational and commercial
    harvesters. Trap specifications may be found in Rule 68B-13.008, Florida
    Administrative Code.

    Can both stone crab claws be harvested?
    Both claws of a stone crab may be harvested lawfully if they are of legal size. Although it is
    currently lawful to harvest both of a stone crab's claws, this practice leaves the stone crab
    with few alternatives to defend itself from predators.

    Although the crab can still obtain minimal amounts of food with no claws, having one claw
    (if the other one is harvested) will enable the crab to obtain greater amounts of food in a
    shorter amount of time. Stone crabs (like other crustaceans) have the ability to grow back
    their claws, but this process requires a large amount of energy in the form of food.

    The quicker the crab can obtain the energy required to molt and grow its lost claw, the
    sooner this renewable delicacy will have another claw to replace the missing one.

    For more information:

    Find out how to measure stone crab claws.
    FWC News Release
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