YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Information on wildlife crimes can be reported anonymously 24 hours a day. Ethical hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers provide the best information to catch criminals. Your tips and eyewitness accounts are invaluable in protecting wildlife and punishing poachers. FWC Wildlife Alert Program.
Do not attempt to stop a crime yourself. Be safe and be a good witness. You can call anonymously — or work with officers as a confidential informant — but the sooner you contact us, the faster we can respond, gather evidence and catch the criminals.
When reporting try to provide as much information as possible, such as:
- What happened
- Where it happened, being as specific as possible
- Who was involved, describing persons (names if known), vehicles (license numbers are crucial), names of other witnesses
- When did it happen (date and time are very important!)
If you suspect a fish, wildlife, boating, or environmental law violation, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Reward Program: 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Cell phone users can reach us at *FWC or #FWC, depending on your service provider.
If your information results in an arrest, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. See Reward Categories for details.
Violation levels as stated in Florida Statutes 379.401 – 379.504 and 403.161. The violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
Level I Violations – $100.00 Reward
- Hunting/Fishing/Trapping without a license
- No quota permit or hunting zone assignment violation
- Possession of captive wildlife without the required free permit
- Environmental Crimes
Level II Violations – $300.00 Reward
- Over bag limit of small game or fish
- Taking small game or any saltwater finfish, shellfish, or crustaceans during closed season, by illegal method, or from closed areas during closed season or in closed areas
- Feeding or enticement of alligators or crocodiles
- No Retail Saltwater Products license
- Taking protected wildlife species (i.e. migratory birds)
- Possession of captive wildlife without the required fee permit
- Environmental Crimes – 2nd degree misdemeanor
- Molesting endangered/threatened species
Level III Violations – $500.00 Reward
- Illegal sale or possession of alligators
- Unlawful taking of a quantity of saltwater species or taking with prohibited gear
- Unlawful possession, transportation, or sale of commercial quantities of game fish, salt-water species, or fresh water fish
- Illegal taking and possession of deer or wild turkey
- Falsification of applicant information for possession of captive wildlife
- Environmental Crimes – 1st degree misdemeanor
Level IV Violations – $600.00 Reward
- Taking/killing an endangered/threatened species
- Trap robbing (lobster, stone crab, etc)
- Boating under the influence (BUI)
- Unlawfully killing, injuring, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilians or their eggs
- Environmental Crimes – felony
Felony Violations (extreme cases) up to $1,000.00 Reward
- Commercial trafficking of wildlife (except panfish)
- Organized black-market taking and sale of protected species
- Knowingly violating rules and regulations related to The Florida Aquatic Weed Control Act or aquatic plant management
NOTE: In the event of multiple violations, the reward shall be up to the maximum level of the most serious offense.
Report violations via text message.
Most cell phones allow users to send text messages directly to an email address. You can text " target="_blank" rel="noopener">; standard usage fees may apply.
To be eligible for a reward…
You must obtain a confidential code number to be eligible for a reward. When reporting violations online, a code number will be sent to the email address you provide. If you do not wish to provide an email address, please call 888-404-FWCC to obtain a code number. The telephones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You may remain anonymous. You will not be required to testify in court. You may or may not be contacted for additional information, depending on your preference. It is important to report violations as soon as possible and provide as much detail as you can about the physical descriptions of violators, vehicles, license tag numbers, etc.
Examples of violations
- Illegal hunting
- Taking saltwater game fish out of season
- Taking protected wildlife species
- Boating under the influence
The Florida lobster or Spiny Crawfish (Palinurus argus) is a crustacean. They are related to crabs, shrimp, and other lobsters. The Florida lobster is caught off the Florida Keys and around the southern tip of the state.
The Florida lobster is characterized by its lack of claws and numerous spines on the body. There are two large hooked horns over the eyes, a pair of long jointed antennae and five pairs of walking legs. It has mottled coloring of https://floridakeystreasures.com/creatures/yellow, brown, orange and blue markings over the body and tail. The tail is segmented and can be rapidly curled under the body to propel the lobster backwards through the water. Like all crustaceans, the Florida lobster must molt or shed its hard shell to grow. Its diet consists of clams, snails, seaweed and small marine organisms.
Florida lobster are commercially harvested using special traps at depths of 6 to 300 feet and more recently by commercial divers. Florida lobster are marketed as whole lobster, lobster tails, split tails and lobster meat. These products are available fresh or frozen, raw or cooked. The term “green” is used to refer to raw Florida lobster. An Florida lobster shell turns a bright red-orange when cooked. Florida
lobster tails can be boiled, steamed, grilled, deep-fried or broiled. The meat can be removed from the shell and used in many recipes. Florida lobster should be refrigerated at 32-38 degrees F and used within two days or stored in freezer at 0 degrees F for up to six months. Thaw frozen Florida lobster in the refrigerator or under cold running water.
Monroe County Lobster Harvesting Brochure
Regular lobster season begins August 6th at 12:01 a.m. and ends March 31 at midnight. The two-day Sport Lobster 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. The bag limit is 6 per person per day.
Anyone planning to hunt lobster in Florida territorial waters must have a valid recreational saltwater fishing license as well as a crawfish permit ($5.00) to catch lobster. One-year fishing licensees for residents are $17.00, while non-residents can purchase 3-day ($17.00), 7-day ($30.00), or 1-year licenses ($47.00.) Active military personnel stationed in Florida are considered to be residents. Licenses are available through local tax collectors, many tackle shops, and marine supply stores.
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.
Lobstering is always prohibited in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, Looe Key Sanctuary, and some areas of Pennekamp State Park. Contact Pennekamp State Park atfor more details.
No gear that could puncture the shell of lobster is allowed in your possession, including (but not limited to) spears, hooks, or wire snares.
You must have a measuring gauge on you at all times when you are hunting for lobster. The carapace (the main body) must be at least 3 inches in length to stay within legal size limits. Lobsters with a carapace under 3 inches must be freed unharmed.
Lobster must be of legal size before they are in possession. Remember: any lobsters in your catch bag in the water are considered in possession. For this reason, measure them before you place them in your bag.
You can be prosecuted for injuring any lobster while you are underwater don’t be one of those morons who try pulling them out of their holes by the antennae. Also, be extra careful not to bang into any coral or sponge while hunting lobster.
Egg-bearing lobster must be released unharmed. You can recognize the eggs by an orange, yellow, brown, or red mass found covering the bottom of the lobster’s tail.
If you see any commercial lobster traps, give them wide berth: it is a felony to take lobster from commercial traps and these commercial fishermen are quite aggressive when it comes to protecting there livelihood.
The Perfect kit for Florida Lobster. Here are the all the vital things you need when you dive for the “bugs”.
- Lobster net: helps reach limit. Sturdy frame, rubber handle grip, and wrist loop. Large gauge netting snares. Measures 15″”x14″”x24″” with a 4.5″” handle
- Tickle stick: to coax lobster out of hiding. Premium kit includes a 36” aluminum tickle stick with bent end to get behind lobsters. Value kit includes a 36” fiberglass tickle stick WITHOUT BENT END
- Lobster gauge: gauge with 3 inch cutout section matching Florida’s minimum carapace measurement for lobster harvest
- Bright orange gloves protect your hands while fishing, spearfishing or hunting lobster/lobstering. Gloves are vinyl. Top pick for lobsters
- Mesh bag: reusable mesh bag for holding your catch during the dive. Then rinsing, drying and storing the Equipment after the dive