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Florida Lobster Season Is Coming! Here’s What You Need To Know

Posted by Gerald Lombardo on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 at 3:08pm.

Delicious and a prized catch, the Spiny Lobster is a delicacy that is enjoyed throughout south Florida and the Caribbean. This tasty crustacean is found all over the waters of Jupiter, Palm Beach, Miami, and the Florida Keys, so it is a commonly enjoyed meal for local Floridians. However, there is a season to catch these creatures and it is important to know the rules and facts of fishing for the spiny lobster before setting out on the boat. 

Mini Season for the spiny lobster was a quick two-day season that took place earlier this week July 26th and 27th.  The regular, 8-month long, lobster season is coming up in the first week of August. Beginning August 6 and continuing until March 31st of 2020, the regular lobster season will be open to local anglers across the nation. Lobster season is often a celebratory time in south Florida, for generations of fisherman take to the shallow reefs to collect the lobsters for a tasty dinner or oceanside snack, but there are strict and highly enforced rules that come along with the season. So, make sure you are educated on them and learn all that you need to know to fully enjoy this year’s lobster season without getting into trouble. 

Important Things to Know for the 2019 Lobster Season:

When is the regular lobster season? 
August 6th, 2019 through March 31st, 2020

How many spiny lobsters can I catch? 
6 lobster per person, per day. 

How many lobsters may I possess on the water?
Equal to the daily limit per person. (so, you may not take lobsters from the ocean, put them onto your vessel or into a bag and then return to get more. 6 is the limit per person, per day, per vessel.) 

What is the minimum size limit for each lobster?
The carapace (body excluding tail) must be larger than 3” and must be measured in the water. Possession of a measuring device is required at all times. 

Are there any restricted places to harvest lobster?
Yes, harvesting lobster is prohibited in the following areas: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Parkduring the sport season and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary during both the 2-day sport season and regular season.

Other restrictions?
Eggbearing lobsters may not be harvested. 

Lobsters must be landed in their whole condition. Removing the tail from the body in the water is illegal in state waters. 

No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any method, which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the exoskeleton (shell) or the flesh of the lobster

Recreational trapping is prohibited.

Regardless of what species you are fishing for, bag limits are only for properly licensed individuals and those people exempt from license requirements who are actively harvesting. People harvesting may not exceed their individual bag limit and take someone else's bag limit. That is, people (including children) who are not actively harvesting or are not properly licensed (if a license is required) may NOT be counted for purposes of bag limits.

For more information about the 2019 Lobster Season, please visit www.myfwc.com

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