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By Lisa Cilli

MIAMI (CBS4) – The mouths of South Florida seafood lovers are watering at the anticipation of the official start of  stone crab season.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, recreational fishermen will be able to hunt for the tasty crustaceans.

But there are a strict set of rules that must be followed:

• When catching catch a crab the claws can be removed, but throw back the crab

• Stone crab claws must be at least 2¾ inches in length to be harvested legally

• Crabs must be captured in baited traps, declawed and released

• Egg bearing females cannot be declawed

• No hooks or spears are allowed

Click Here for a complete list of rules and regulations from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The season runs from October 15 to May 15.

The nice thing about eating stone crab claws, other than they are delicious, is that stone crab claws are the only renewable resource from the water. Crabbers take only one claw from each crab, which is then regenerated over time.

If you don’t own a boat or can’t wait for someone who does, you’re in luck.

Another South Florida institution, Joe’s Stone Crab, will open Friday to celebrate its 99th season.

  1. The Guy says:

    Rule Number 97 – Tip the Guy at Joes a C Note to get a table

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