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 October 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.
◾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.