Lobster Season Regulations

What you need to know for lobster season, according to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

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Mini Lobster Season

Season dates: Last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July each year.

Bag limits: 6 per person per day for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park, and 12 per person per day for the rest of Florida.

Possession limit – on the water: equal to the daily bag limit

Possession limit – off the water: equal to the daily bag limit on the first day, and double the daily bag limit on the second day.

Possession limits are enforced on and off the water.

Minimum size limit: must be larger than 3″ carapace, measured in the water.  A reminder that possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times, and night diving is prohibited in Monroe County (only during the sport season).

License requirements: A recreational saltwater license and a spiny lobster permit are needed for harvest.

Regular Spiny Lobster Season

Season dates: Aug. 6 – March 31

Bag limit: 6 per person per day

Possession limit – on the water: equal to the daily bag limit

Minimum size limit: must be larger than 3″ carapace, measured in the water.  A reminder that possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times.

Prohibitions: Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season.  Harvest is also prohibited during both the 2-day sport season and regular season in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

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, or check online for lobster harvesting regulations for Monroe County. Recreational trapping of lobster is prohibited.

Bag Limits
Season Type Monroe County Biscayne Natl. Park Elsewhere
2-Day Sport
(July 27-28)
6 per person per day 6 per person per day 12 per person per day
Regular
(Aug. 6 – March 31)
6 per person per day 6 per person per day 6 per person per day

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.

Find out how to measure spiny lobster.

Other Prohibitions

  • The harvest or possession of eggbearing spiny lobster , or any other 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
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