Lobster Regulations

Derived from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Site

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Spiny Lobster: Panulirus argus

Florida Regulations:

Spiny Lobster Sport Season

Season dates Bag limit Possession limit – on the water Possession limit – off the water Minimum size limit
July 29-30, 2015 (Last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July each year) 6 per person per day for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park12 per person per day for the rest of Florida Equal to the daily bag limit Equal to the daily bag limit on the first day, and double the daily bag limit on the second day Carapace larger than 3″, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times. #

#Spiny Lobster Measurement

Spiny Lobster must have a minimum carapace length of greater than 3-inches and the measurement must take place in the water. The carapace is measured beginning at the forward edge between the rostral horns, excluding any soft tissue, and proceeding along the middle to the rear edge of the carapace.

*Possession limits are enforced on and off the water

**Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County (only during the sport season) ***Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary during both the 2-day sport season and regular season.

Regular Spiny Lobster Season

Season dates Bag limit Possession limit – on the water Minimum size limit
Aug. 6 – March 31 6 per person per day Equal to the daily bag limit Carapace larger than 3″, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times. Find out how to measure spiny lobster #

***Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary during both the 2-day sport season and regular season. 

Call 305-852-7717 or visit http://floridakeys.noaa.gov for information about no take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Please call the FWC Marathon office at 305-289-2320.

Other Prohibitions

  • Unless exempt, a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster
  • Lobster must be landed in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body is prohibited in state waters.
  • The harvest or possession of eggbearing spiny lobster, or any other eggbearing species of lobster belonging to the families Palinuridae (spiny lobsters), Scyllaridae (slipper lobsters) or Synaxidae (furry lobsters) is prohibited
  • No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any device which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the exoskeleton (shell) or the flesh of the lobster
  • Recreational trapping prohibited
  • Regardless of what species you are fishing for, bag limits are only for properly licensed individuals and those people exempt from license requirements who are actively harvesting. 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.

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Key West Naval Air Station, FL

Last Updated on Sep 21 2017, 11:53 pm EDT

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