2019 Florida Lobster Season and Mini Season Dates
The season for spiny lobsters in Florida is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in the month of July. For 2019, that is the 24 and 25. You may only bag six lobster per day if you reside in Monroe County or are hunting in the Biscayne National Park. However, you may bag up to 12 per person if you live anywhere else in Florida. The lobster must be larger than three inches while residing in water. You must have a measuring device on you while hunting and all limits are enforced both in and out of the water. You must not dive at night in Monroe County, except during the hunting season. Finally, you are not allowed to hunt in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. You may not take the lobsters during the sporting season or regular season in Everglades National Park, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and in Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary.
Regular Spiny Lobster Season
The sport season is only a couple of days; however, the regular season for spiny lobsters lasts from August 6th to the end of the following May. The daily bag limit is six per person, regardless of where you live. Lobsters must be larger than three inches and you must have a measuring device on you at all times.
You must have a recreational lobster permit and a Florida saltwater fishing license in order to harvest spiny lobsters. You must also harvest them in their entirety, and they must not be of the eggbearing species. The following families are of the eggbearing, Palinuridae, Scyllaridae, and Spynaxidae. Do not use a device that will harm the shell of the lobster, and you may not harvest for recreational purposes. The bag limits are for those who have a met the license requirements. It is prohibited to take someone else’s bag to fill their quota for yourself. This also means you cannot allow your children to have a bag if they are not properly licensed and not actively trying to harvest.
If you would like more information on the spiny lobster harvest dates and rules for both sport and regular seasons, you can call 305-852-7717. They will help you determine where the no take areas are and happy to assist. You may also visit their website at http://floridakeys.noaa.gov. There are pdfs to help know regulations for Monroe County, as well as the spearfishing regulations. You can also reach the Florida Wildlife Control at 305-289-2320.