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Requirements For Recreational Blue Crab Harvest

Discussion in 'Scalloping, Lobstering, Crabbing, Claiming' started by fishingfool, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant
    Thread Started By

    Requirements for Recreational Blue Crab Harvest

    • Recreational saltwater fishing license.
    • No more than 10 gallons of blue crab per day can be harvested or possessed.
    • Egg-bearing blue crabs must be released.
    Allowable Gear

    Dip or landing net, drop net, fold-up trap, hook and line gear, push scrape, trotline, trap less than 1 cubic ft. in volume fished from a vessel, dock, or shore, and commercial-style, or standard, traps.

    Commercial Style Traps

    • If you are using commercial style traps you are allowed to use no more than 5 traps per person.
    • Each trap must have a mesh size of 1.5 inches.
    • Throats may only be located on vertical surfaces and may reach into the trap no more than 6 inches.
    • Maximum dimension is 2 ft. x 2 ft. x 2 ft. or have a volume of 8 cubic ft. or less.
    • Traps must have a buoy that is made of Styrofoam, cork, PVC, or polystyrene and be a bright color that can be easily distinguished, seen, and located. The buoy must be spherical in shape and be no less than 6 inches in diameter or some other shape that is no shorter than 10 inches in the longest dimension and the width at some point must exceed 5 inches, each buoy must have a legible “R” written on it (stands for recreational) at least 2 inches in height, and no more than 5 ft. of line can float on the surface of the water. Buoy requirements do not apply to traps tied to private property, such as a dock.
    • Each trap must have at least three unobstructed escape rings with an inside diameter of 23/8 inches and at least one ring must be placed adjacent to each crab retaining chamber on a vertical surface.
    • Each trap must have the harvester’s name and address permanently affixed.
    • Traps may only be worked from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.
    Closures to Commercial Style Traps

    • There are six regional closed seasons to the harvest of blue crabs with traps to help clean up Florida’s waters. Traps that remain in the water will be removed and disposed of by FWC.
    • The closures apply only to standard recreational and commercial blue crab traps.
    • During the closures, these traps must be removed from the water.
    • The harvest of blue crabs by other gears, such as dip nets and fold-up traps, is allowed during the closures.
    • The closures apply to recreational harvesters who use standard blue crab traps unless the traps are attached to private property, such as a dock.
    • Closures will extend from the shoreline out to 3 nautical miles and include all inland waters in these regions.**
    • Florida Statutes prohibit tampering with, collecting from or moving traps that are not yours, even during the above closures (F.S. 379.366(4)(b)).
    * All waters of the St. Johns River, its associated lakes and tributaries from west of the St. Johns River’s intersection with the Intracoastal Canal through and including Lake Hellen Blazes.

    Bubba Creech likes this.
  2. TripleK-D

    TripleK-D Greenhorn

    Thank you for this great information
  3. lobsterman

    lobsterman Seaman Recruit

    Thanks Bob. Great info.
  4. slimjim

    slimjim Deckhand

    New info as of July 2017 .....traps must have a degradable panel larger than 3 inches by 6 inches



    Blue Crab: Callinectes sapidus
    Florida Regulations:

    Regulations Gulf State Waters Atlantic State Waters
    Size Limit

    Daily Bag Limit
    10 gallons whole per harvester per day

    *Harvest of egg-bearing crabs prohibited

    Gear Requirements:
    • Legal Gear: blue crab trap (max. 5 per person), dip or landing net, drop net, fold up trap with a volume of no more than one cubic foot, hook and line, push scrape, trotline
    Trap Specifications BlueCrabTrap2D-rec_316x400.jpg
    • Maximum trap size is 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet or a volume of 8 cubic feet
    • Mesh size must be 1 1/2 inches or larger
    • The throat or entrance cannot extend farther than 6 inches into the inside of any trap
    • Must have at least three escape rings, one of each located on a vertical outer surface adjacent to each chamber
    • Escape rings must be larger than 2 3/8 inches
    • The trap must have a degradable panel larger than 3 inches by 6 inches
    • Types of degradable panels include: untreated jute twine, non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner, untreated pine dowel no larger than 2 inches in length by 3/8 inch in diameter or untreated pine slats no thicker than 3/8 inch
    • Harvester name and address must be permanently affixed to the trap and legible
    • The buoy must be no smaller than 6 inches and must be marked with a legible “R” that is at least 2 inches tall
    Trapping Regulations
    • Traps must be pulled manually (not by a mechanical 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.
    • No harvest allowed with any trap out of state waters (seaward of nine nautical miles from shore in the Gulf of Mexico or seaward of three nautical miles from shore in the Atlantic Ocean).
  5. michaelt

    michaelt Greenhorn

    Great information thank you
  6. btatar

    btatar Pirate

    Thanks for sharing, we will be heading down to FL in one week.
  7. Megalodon36

    Megalodon36 Cabin Boy

    I bought traps from a company in Salt Springs, FL.
  8. capt larry

    capt larry Greenhorn

    Great post thanks so much!

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