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Recreational Stone Crabbing

 

 

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Stone Crab: Menippe mercenaria or Menippe adina

Florida Regulations:

RegulationsGulf State WatersAtlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit 2 3/4-inch claw 
Daily Bag Limit 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel, whichever is less 

 *Harvest of egg-bearing crabs prohibited

Gear Requirements:

Trap SpecificationsRecreational stone crab trap

Trapping Regulations

State Waters Harvest Seasons:

Open Oct. 15 - May 15

Traps may be placed in the water 10 days prior to the opening of the season, but once placed, you may not tend to the traps until the start of the season, at which time you may begin harvesting.

Video: How to harvest a stone crab claw

Can both stone crab claws be harvested?

Yes. Both claws of a stone crab may be harvested lawfully if they are of legal size. Stone CrabAlthough 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.

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