SARASOTA, Fla.- It is that time of year again — fishermen are prepare to head out to check the first stone crab traps of the season Friday. The season officially kicks off Oct. 15 and runs through May 1. The iconic crab is a local favorite on the menu but is often hard to come by.
Stone crab fishermen have been preparing for the season as they set traps and get gear and bait together. The regulations allow for the fishermen to set their traps 10 days prior to the official start to the season.
Guidelines set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission require that the traps be set to specified standards.
As the crab traps are pulled, crabs that have claws of at least 2 7/8-inch in diameter are able to be harvested. Although both claws can be harvested, many fishermen opt for the harvest of only one as it gives the crab a better way to defend itself once it is released back to the water. This ultimately allows the crab to fight for food which provides the energy to regrow its claw.
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