2012 Spiny Lobster Sport (Mini) Season
The RULES are different here!
in the Florida Keys
The two-day Spiny Lobster Sport Season is always the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July, beginning at 12:01 A.M. on Wednesday and ending at 12:00 midnight on Thursday. This year, that will be July 25 and 26, 2012. There was a request to change the Lobster Season dates. You can read about it here, Lobster Season Changes.
State and Federal Waters
Bag Limit: Six (6) per licensed harvester (you must have a saltwater fishing license with a lobster stamp) per day in Monroe County; twelve (12) per licensed harvester per day throughout the rest of Florida where the harvest of lobster is permitted. The two-day total of twelve lobster per licensed harvester in Monroe County can only be possessed when transporting your catch by car on, or after, the second day.
Bag limits are only for properly licensed individuals and those people exempt from license requirements who are actively harvesting, and those 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.
Diving at night for lobster is NOT permitted in Monroe County. Only bully netting and hoop-netting is permitted at night. “Night” is one (1) hour after official sunset to one (1) hour before official sunrise.
In addition, Commissioners approved new rule language to prohibit harvest of spiny lobsters from illegal artificial habitat. That action is aimed at reducing the use of illegal structures, sometimes called “casitas,” to harvest lobsters, especially in the lower Florida Keys.
Casitas, such as dumpsters, concrete slabs, bathtubs and various other materials, are illegally placed on the seabed to attract lobsters. The secretive nature of their placement makes preventing their use difficult, and they are capable of attracting hundreds of lobsters that can be easily harvested by divers.
Prohibited Areas: State & Federal
•Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Spiny Lobster Sanctuary (closed only to the harvest of spiny lobster)
•Everglades National Park
•Dry Tortugas National Park
Within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary the following no-take areas are marked by 30” diameter round yellow boundary buoys: Sanctuary Preservation Areas; Special-Use Research-Only Areas; Ecological Reserves (Tortugas E.R not currently marked; refer to GPS coordinates).
John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park (all of John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park is closed during the two-day Sport Lobster Season only to the harvest of spiny lobster.)
More Florida Spiny Lobster Information
DELUXE LOBSTER KIT
The Perfect kit for Florida Lobster. Here are the all the vital things you need when you dive for the "bugs". Start with a durable, aluminum tickle stick for backing your catch into the quality strength aluminum framed net. The honey combed gloves allow you to easily grip the bug. The aluminum lobster gauge (you are required to have on in your possesion when lobstering) is easy to measure your catches to make sure they are not under the legal size limit. And finally a large mesh bag to store your catch.
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