Stone crab season set to Open Monday
The folks north of us may have their fall foliage this time of year, but here in Florida we have stone crab season, which opens Monday. The stone crab has the distinction of being the only commercially harvested marine animal in the nation that doesn't have to die to provide food for humans.
When a scuba diver or recreational stone crab hunter grabs the tasty claw, the animal simply lets it go. Most people scuba dive for stone crabs around bridges and causeways. But one of the most popular ways to catch these crustaceans is to wade a rocky shoreline. Crabs hide in holes under rocks and other debris. They especially like rocky outcroppings near sea grass beds. Wait for low tide, then wade until you find a burrow; the entrance is often marked by discarded shells. Use the flat end of a crowbar to coax the crab out. Bring a dip net and a bucket or bag to carry claws.
The season runs through May 15. The bag limit is 1 gallon of claws per person or 2 gallons per vessel, whichever is less. The claw must measure 2 3/4 inches. For more stone crab regulations, visit myfwc.com.
Water cleanups set for Oct. 20
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful needs help with two of its biggest events, the annual Hillsborough River Cleanup and the Coastal Cleanup, which have been combined into one day of community service on Oct. 20. Volunteers will remove litter and debris, and the data will be collected to help the Ocean Conservancy in an ongoing project. To preregister, go to keeptampabaybeautiful.org.
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