Stone crab season kicks off today

Scott McIntyre/Staff
Stone crabs ready for cleaning at Kelly's Fish House on Tuesday May 15, 2012. Tuesday was the final day of the stone crabbing season.

Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE // Buy this photo

Scott McIntyre/Staff Stone crabs ready for cleaning at Kelly's Fish House on Tuesday May 15, 2012. Tuesday was the final day of the stone crabbing season.

MIAMI (AP) — Bring your own bib: Florida's stone crab season is underway.

Recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season runs Monday through May 15 in state and federal waters.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission press release says stone crab claws must be at least 2 ¾ inches in length. Recreational harvesters can use up to five stone crab traps per person, but stone crabs may not be harvested with any device — such as spears or hooks — that can puncture, crush or injure the body.

Both claws may be taken if they are of legal size. But wildlife officials note that crabs returned to the water with one claw intact can obtain more food in a shorter amount of time and regrow its other claw faster.

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