Recreational and commercial blue crab traps may be placed back in state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Florida/Alabama state line through the Franklin/Wakulla county line starting Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Traps had to be removed from the water as part of a 10-day closure that started Jan. 5, but this closure ended early because efforts to remove lost and abandoned traps have been completed.
This and other similar closures give groups authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps from the water.
Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water. They can also be unsightly in the marine environment, damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.
The closure is one of three regional, 10-day blue crab trap closures that occur in 2017 on the Gulf coast of Florida. There are six regional closures total: three in odd-numbered years on the west coast and three in even-numbered years on the east coast.
For more information regarding the FWC’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and cleanup events, go online to MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing” then “Trap Retrieval/Debris Removal.” For additional information, contact the FWC’s trap retrieval coordinator, Pamela Gruver, at 850-487-0554.