Two-day Lobster season carries rules
Caribbean spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus, are sometimes referred to as "bugs" because crustaceans and insects come from the same phylum, arthropoda. Divers who participate in the two-day "mini" season for lobster, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, are often called bug hunters. That's because lobster and insects share several common traits, including jointed appendages — legs, antennae and mouthparts — as well as rigid external skeletons that molt or shed as they grow. Those diving for lobsters need to know how to measure them. The minimum length of the carapace (the shell that covers the body) must be 3 inches for the lobster to be harvested. Lobsters must be measured in the water and possession of a measuring device is required at all times. Egg-bearing females must be released. Female lobsters carry eggs directly under the tail between April and August. The bag limit during the mini season is six per person, per day in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park and 12 per person per day in all other areas in Florida.
• Amberjack: The season reopens Aug. 1 in gulf state waters (within 9 miles of shore). The minimum size limit is 30 inches (fork length) and anglers may keep one fish per day.
• Red snapper: A better-than-anticipated stock assessment prompted federal officials to schedule a second red snapper season. The special season will open Oct. 1 and probably run for 21 days, or until the recreational quota is met.
Send news to Terry Tomalin at email@example.com or call (727) 893-8808.
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