FL Stone crab season is now open - WFLA News Channel 8

FL Stone crab season is now open

Posted: Updated:
TALLAHASSEE, FL -

Florida's fishermen are hoping the upcoming stone crab season is better than last season's dismal haul.

The recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvests open Tuesday in state and federal waters. The harvests continue through mid-May.

The rules are the same in both state and federal waters. Recreational harvesters can use up to five stone crabs trap per person. There's also a daily recreational bag limit of one gallon of claws per person or two gallons per vessel, whichever is less.

When it comes to stone crabs, fishermen usually take just one claw from each crab, which is then returned to the water. Those claws must be at least 2 ¾ inches in length.

Last year's stone crab haul was considered one of the worst in the last two decades, with roughly 2.2 million pounds of claws harvested, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Tom Matthews told The Key West Citizen (http://bit.ly/1fx8ojL).

That was the smallest haul since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when fishermen lost large numbers of traps, Matthews said.

The low numbers in 2012 made stone crab prices soar. Jumbo claws reached $23 a pound, large claws went for $16 to $18 a pound and medium claws sold for $10 to $12 a pound.

Such low volumes were not good for fisherman, said Marathon-based Keys Fisheries Market Marina owner Gary Graves.

"Extremely high prices don't make up for a lack of volume," Graves said. "It's best to have really good volume with reasonable prices."

A good stone crab season would see 3 million pounds of claws landed, said Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association Executive Director Bill Kelly.

Lingering red tides and a fatal parasite contributed to last season's disappointing harvests, Kelly said.

"Expectations are already high, barring any tropical storms or red tide outbreaks," Kelly said. "There's a lot of fingers crossed."

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • 8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    8 on your side helps stranded Riverview driver get a new car

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:10:54 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
    Last week, 8 on your side told you about the plight of Christopher Soto and his recalled car.Last fall, Soto purchased a 2004 Chevy Malibu from DriveTime, a used car dealership in Brandon.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Closing US 301 for repairs create headaches

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:16:16 GMT
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
    It’s been a headache for many who travel U.S. Highway 301 in Riverview after the roadway was shut down. But FDOT expects the roadway to be back open about midnight Thursday.After a nearby construction crew damaged a 24-inch water line in the area, water poured out and created a hole, damaging the asphalt on U.S. 301.“It’s still every penny counts, I would say $30 to $50 possibly,” is how much the road closure cost Bee...
  • New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    New "Fire challenge" video spurs warnings

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:43:41 GMT
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
    Videos of a dangerous stunt are spreading all across social media. You can see examples on sites like Youtube and Facebook. It's called "The Fire Challenge" and involves young people dousing themselves with rubbing alcohol and lighting it up on their bodies. Burn victim and now, Tampa General Hospital volunteer, Joe Versaggi, knows all about the horrors of fire. He's undergone 30 surgeries after a fiery plane crash 8...
  • Haines City police officer resigns after Facebook posts

    Haines City police officer resigns after Facebook posts

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:43 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:43:17 GMT
    A Haines City police officer under an internal investigation has resigned. Amelia Inoa, an officer with Haines City since 2012, submitted her resignation Wednesday night. The resignation came a few hours after News Channel 8 aired a story exposing some of Inoa's posts on her personal Facebook page. The posts ranged from jokes about calls on which she was dispatched to racial jabs.On Thursday, police Captain Brian McNu...
    A Haines City police officer under an internal investigation has resigned. Amelia Inoa, an officer with Haines City since 2012, submitted her resignation Wednesday night. The resignation came a few hours after News Channel 8 aired a story exposing some of Inoa's posts on her personal Facebook page. The posts ranged from jokes about calls on which she was dispatched to racial jabs.On Thursday, police Captain Brian McNu...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.