Commercial spiny lobster traps may be placed in the water starting tomorrow (July 27) in both state and federal waters. This is the first year the soak has been scheduled early in federal waters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) allowed harvesters to place traps in the water early, starting last year, in response to requests from the industry and in an effort to provide additional time to those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Prior to this change, traps were not allowed to be placed in the water until Aug. 1.

“Commercial spiny lobster is one of the most economically valuable fisheries in Florida. Having this extra time to get ready for the Aug. 6 season opening is important to commercial spiny lobster harvesters across Florida, especially those who were hit hard by Hurricane Irma in the Keys,” said FWC Chairman Robert Spottswood. “We are happy that harvesters now have the opportunity to place their traps in both state and federal waters early for this and future years.”

Traps may not be pulled until the 2019 recreational and commercial spiny lobster season starts Aug. 6.

Learn more about commercial harvest regulations at by clicking on “Commercial Regulations” and “Lobster.”

Learn more about federal changes at

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