A really bad day to be a lobster in Florida Keys and along state’s east coast

Florida’s lobster season opened Tuesday, and thousands of divers and snorkelers were in the water, grabbing bugs in the Keys and along the state’s east coast.

Brent Argabright, owner of Dean’s Dive Center in Fort Myers, opened the season with his family at Deerfield Beach.

“We had a great time,” he said. “We made a couple of dives in 35 feet and got 12 lobsters easy. We weren’t even looking hard.”

Lobster season, which runs through March 31, is a big deal: About 150,000 recreational fishermen, 400 commercial divers and 800 commercial trappers target lobster in Florida.

In recent years, recreational fishermen have harvested 1.3 million pounds of lobster per year, while commercial fishermen have averaged 4.4 million pounds.

“We’ve got packed boats, and everybody’s happy,” said Duke Brack, a dive instructor at Key Dives in Islamorada. “You always have people who are learning to lobster and don’t limit out, and you have people who have been doing it for years and limit out in 10 minutes.”

Lobsters in the Keys and along the east coast arrive as larvae from the Caribbean.

Scientists actually conduct research to predict whether a given season will produce a good crop of lobsters, said Tom Matthews, an associate research scientist at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

“But we’re not very good at it,” he said. “We’ve been doing a program since 1986, catching larval lobsters, which are the size of your finger nail, and we see no relationship between how many baby lobsters come in and how many are caught two years later.”

According to a 2009 study co-authored by Matthews, legal-sized lobsters (3-inch carapace) throughout the Keys and Dry Tortugas are predominantly 1 to 2 years old, and most lobsters harvested in those areas are just a few millimeters larger than the minimum legal size.

Commercial and recreational landings, which are important indicators of the lobster population, have been down in Florida by about 30 percent since the 2000-01 season.

This entry was posted in Florida Keys Fishing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Recent Posts

  • Contact Us



  • Facebook page for the War Bird Sportfishing Charter Boat Twitter Account for Captain Dana Banks - Key Largo Fishing Guide and Charter Boat Captain of the War Bird RSS Feed for Posts from Captain Dana Banks - Key Largo Fishing Charters - the War Bird
    Google Plus

    To Book a Deep Sea
    Fishing Charter
    (305) 394-7420

    Florida Keys Fishing in Key Largo


  • To Book The War Bird
    (305) 394-7420


    KEY LARGO
    DEEP SEA FISHING
    • Sailfish
    • Dolphin - Mahi Mahi
    • Wahoo
    • King Mackerel
    • Tuna - Black Fin Tuna
    • Marlin
    KEYS REEF &
    WRECK FISHING

    • Yellowtail Snapper
    • Mutton Snapper
    • Cubera Snapper
    • Mangrove Snapper
    • Grouper
    • Kingfish - King Mackerel
    • Spanish and Cero Mackerel
    • Hogfish
    • Amberjack
    • Cobia
    • Baracuda

  • The Fish House
    Key Largo's Finest Seafood Restaurant
    102401 Overseas Hwy
    Key Largo, FL 33037
    305-451-4665

    Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Dinner: 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
    No Reservations, just come on in!


  • Pages

  • Meta


  • Offshore Sportfishing in the Florida Keys

  • Tags


  • Facebook page for the War Bird Sportfishing Charter Boat Twitter Account for Captain Dana Banks - Key Largo Fishing Guide and Charter Boat Captain of the War Bird RSS Feed for Posts from Captain Dana Banks - Key Largo Fishing Charters - the War Bird

    To Book a Deep Sea
    Fishing Charter
    (305) 394-7420