Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters. To ensure this valuable resource is available for generations to come, take care when removing crab claws and follow all protective management guidelines for stone crab harvest.

To be harvested, stone crab claws must be at least 23Ž4 inches in length when measured from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable portion of the claw. View a video on how to properly remove the claw and increase the likelihood of survival of the released crab.

Claws may not be taken from egg-bearing stone crabs. Egg-bearing females are identifiable by the orange or brown egg mass, also known as a “sponge,” which is visible on the underside of the crab when it is picked up or turned over.

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