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Stone crab season closes May 16

The commercial and recreational harvest of stone crab claws in Florida closes on May 16, with the last day of harvest on May 15. Stone crab season will reopen on Oct. 15. This five-month closure occurs each year during the peak spawning season to help conserve and sustain Florida’s valuable stone crab resource.

Commercially harvested stone crab claws may be possessed and sold during the closed season, but only if they have been placed in inventory prior to May 16 by a licensed wholesale or retail dealer.

Stone crab traps must be removed from the water within five days after the close of the stone crab season. Stone crab claws cannot be harvested from traps pulled after the season closes.

Learn more about the stone crab harvest season by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” and then either “Recreational Regulations” or “Commercial.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is gathering public input on the commercial and recreational stone crab fishery. Learn more at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.