At its September meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) amended its stone crab trap regulations for stone crab traps used in Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.
Beginning this year’s stone crab season, the use of round entrances (also known as throats or funnels) will no longer be allowed for stone crab traps used in state or federal waters off these three counties. The changes will also require that the rectangular or rounded rectangular entrances typically used in stone crab traps be no larger than 5½ by 3 1/8 inches at the most narrow portion of the opening.
The changes will bring the gear regulations for these three counties more closely in line with the way the stone crab fishery has traditionally operated in the region and prevent the use of stone crab traps to target lobster. The FWC did not adopt any changes to the allowable size of the overall trap, although that had been considered previously.
The new measures related to configuration of the stone crab trap entrance will be effective Oct. 5.