What to do in Florida: Lobster season starts July 25

Spiny lobster basket (credit: FWC)

Spiny lobster basket (credit: FWC)

Florida Travel Guide to the recreational lobster season

The recreational season for spiny lobster opens for July 25th and 26th, as part of the 2012 recreational and commercial spiny lobster season. This special two-day season opens before the August 6th start date to give recreational fishermen a chance to collect spiny lobsters before August 1 when commercial lobster traps are put in place (the season goes till March 31st).

Sport Season Rules

During the July 25th and 26th lobster sport season, the following rules apply:

  • a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit are required
  • recreational divers and snorkelers can harvest a daily maximum of six lobsters per person in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park waters
  • daily harvest maximums are up to 12 lobsters per person in other Florida waters.
  • night diving isn’t permitted in Monroe County
  • lobster harvest is not allowed in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  • in order to take a spiny lobster, it has to have a carapace length of more than 3 inches
  • divers need to have a measuring device while in the water and must measure all lobsters

If you want to check all of the regulations and divers-down flag requirements, make sure you click on “Boating Regulations.”

Off-limits Lobster harvest

There are places in Florida where the lobster harvest is not allowed at any time. This rule applies in the following areas:

  • specific areas in Pennekamp Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Spiny Lobster Sanctuary

Regular season

During the regular season from Aug. 6th to March 31st, the daily on-the-water possession maximum is six spiny lobsters per person.

Tell us…

Do you eat lobster?