The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced that the harvest of blue crabs from traps will not be allowed from Jan. 5 through Jan. 14 in all waters from Franklin County west to the Florida-Alabama border, except the waters of the Ochlockonee River and Ochlockonee Bay. These areas are being closed to allow authorized groups the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps from the coastal and inland waters in the area.
All commercial and recreational blue crab traps within three nautical miles from shore and in the inland waters of the affected areas must be removed before the start of the 10-day closed period.
The harvest of blue crabs by other gear, such as dip nets and fold-up traps, will still be permitted during the 10-day closure. Blue crab harvesters may also use standard blue crab traps if the traps are attached to private property.
For more information regarding the trap-retrieval program, closure dates, regulations and how volunteers can participate in cleanup events, visit MyFWC.com/Rules (click on “Fishing – Saltwater”), or contact the FWC trap-retrieval coordinator Kyle Miller at 850-487-0554.