MINI SEASON: KNOW WHERE TO GO BEFORE YOU SNATCH A LOBSTER – ONBOARD
In the Florida Keys, there are many places where it’s illegal to take lobster any time of year. For instance, you can’t lobster in Biscayne Bay Card Sound, in the City of Layton or in artificial habitats in state waters.
You also can’t lobster at John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo during the sport season. No person shall harvest any lobster species from or within any coral formation (patch reef) regardless of its proximity to or exclusion from a “Lobster Exclusion Zone.”
If you come across a fabulous lobster hole and there’s nobody around, chances are you’ve stumbled into the danger zone. Pull anchor and find somewhere else.
- In an effort to cut back on turf wars, most cities in the Keys have invoked a special rule to keep down on the neighbor-on-neighbor fights, and, especially, the resident-on-visitor quarrels. Essentially, a local rule establishes a “no-go” zone to keep lobster hunters away from private property. In the following areas, there is no diving or snorkeling within 300 feet of enhanced residential or commercial shoreline, any man made or private canal, any public or private marina.
- In Islamorada, this rule applies during the three days preceding the sport season, the entirety of the sport season and the first five days of the regular season.
- In Marathon, this rule only applies during sport season.
- In Key Colony Beach, it applies only during four days preceding sport season and continues until 10 days have elapsed after the opening of regular season.
- In Key West and unincorporated Monroe County, it applies during the three days preceding sport season, the entirety of sport season and the first five days of regular season. Exception: Diving and snorkeling in front of his/her property to the centerline of the canal or open water.
- Layton has a prohibition on harvesting lobster any time from waters within city limits.
- The two-day lobster mini season takes place on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. It starts at 12:01 a.m. on day one and ends at midnight on day two.
- The bag limit is six per recreational harvester in Monroe County
- Diving at night: It’s not permitted in Monroe County. Note: Night is one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.
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