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If you’ve found yourself asking when stone crab season in Florida starts, then you’ve come to the right place to get the answer. Explore this quick overview to learn about when the crabbing season begins and everything you need to have a successful harvest!
In Florida, it’s legal to harvest stone crabs between October 15 and May 15. The ability to remove these animals’ claws and throw the crabs back otherwise unscathed is a significant factor in their prolonged hunting season. Getting in the spirit of stone crab season is even easier when you consider that this Floridian delicacy is ethically and sustainably sourced because harvesters are only taking one part of the crab.
Typically, stone crabs thrive off the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. Florida is such an ideal habitat for these crustaceans that 98% of all stone crabs hail from this area. That said, it’s not uncommon to see the crabs inhabiting various other places off the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, which offer environments similar to that of the peninsula.
Once you find the proper location, it’s crucial to understand where these animals like to spend their time. Generally, you’ll want to start by looking in shallower areas, and it doesn’t hurt for these spots to have marine plant life, rocks, and other natural features. Of course, you can also find the crabs holing up around seawalls, inlets, bridges, and knee-high hiding spots, such as patches of seagrass.
You’ll want to keep in mind the specific species of crab you’re permitted to harvest and their appearance. You’re allowed to harvest three species of stone crab in the state of Florida:
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the crabs you’re harvesting are, in fact, stone crabs and not another species. For the most part, each species of stone crab has the same appearance, boasting a reddish-brown, oval-shaped shell and a marking that resembles a thumbprint on the inside of their claws.
Many people know that harvesting snow crabs entails capturing them, harvesting their claws, and releasing the crabs. But what’s not as widely known are the rules and regulations to which you must adhere when you’re gathering this Floridian seafood staple. First, you’ll want to make sure you have a valid saltwater fishing license. Here are just a few of the other essential regulations you need to consider when you’re collecting these animals:
Ensure that you’re aware of all the statewide and federal restrictions on collecting these animals before you harvest them. And if you decide that you’d like to enjoy these delicious creatures without collecting them yourself, here at Patas Stone Crab, we’ll always have a wide selection of jumbo stone crab claws for sale ready for you.
Hopefully, this quick guide has answered that nagging question: When does the snow crab season in Florida start? Even more, we hope it allows you to enjoy the benefits of indulging in this popular delicacy.