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Florida's stone crab season opens with new rules on traps


ORLANDO, Florida — Stone crab season starts next week, and fishermen in three Florida counties are facing new rules about the types of traps they can use.

Fishermen in waters off Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties are no longer allowed to use traps with round entrances. Instead, they must use traps with rectangular entrances that are no bigger than 5 ½ inches by 3 1/8 inches.

Statewide, fishermen are allowed to use up to five traps per person. The claws on a crab must be at least 2 ¾ inches in order for them to be harvested.

Florida wildlife officials are encouraging fishermen to take only one claw, even if both claws on a crab are of legal size. Egg-bearing crabs also are prohibited.

The season lasts through mid-May.

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