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Stone Crab Season 2014 in Miami, Florida

Stone Crab Season 2014 in Miami, Florida Stone Crab Season This Fall
October 15, 2014 to May 15, 2015
Florida State Waters

The harvest season for stone crabs commences on October 15, in the state's coastal waters. If you're an amateur who'd like to try your hand at catching these creatures-which taste great dipped in butter-you'll have to follow a few rules and regulations.

Traps must be a maximum of 8 cubic feet. They can be made of plastic, wood or wire. The entrance must have an opening of at least 5.5 by 3.5 inches. It also has to have a degradable panel of cypress or untreated pine slat. You can have up to 5 traps marked with your name and address. Traps must be pulled manually, otherwise you're considered a commercial fisher.

Did you know that in recreational stone crabbing, you leave the crab alive, only taking its claw? That's what you want to eat. Stone crabs can regenerate new claws-how cool is that? In order to legally harvest a crab's claw, it must be at least 2-¾ inches long from the inner claw to the first segment, also known as the elbow. Hold both claws in your hands, and then pull down on the claw you're going to take to break it off. Break off the entire claw.

If both claws are of legal size, you are allowed to break off both. But is that really fair? Stone crabs use their claws to gather food. If it is missing both claws, its chances for surviving (and regenerating more delicious claws) are reduced greatly. So, it's best to leave the crab one claw. The more food it can gather, the more quickly it will regenerate. How's that for a renewable food source? For more information on stone crab harvesting season, go to http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/stone-crabs/.