SOUTH FLORIDA - Lobster Mini Season is upon us and that means good times out on the water and great dinners at night.
But if you're new to the "season" or you are not sure of the rules and regulations, here are some key facts that you should know.
Read: Florida regulations
First off, it's not really called Lobster Mini Season. The official name is Spiny Lobster Sport Season and it runs from 12:01 AM on Wednesday, July 24 through 11:59 PM Thursday, July 25.
Although the season opens in the middle of the night, night diving is not permitted in Monroe County during the mini season.
Anyone is welcome to harvest lobsters but you should be well-accustomed to diving. There have many injuries and even deaths during the lobster season and the victims are usually those who aren't experienced divers.
You are allowed to harvest 6 lobsters per day in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park, while there's a 12 per person limit each day elsewhere around Florida.
Possession limit on the water is equal to the daily bag limit.
Possession limit off the water is equal to the daily bag limit on the first day, and double the daily bag limit on the second day.
Lobsters must be larger than 3-inch caraspace (dorsal section of the exoskeleton) and divers are required to carry measuring device at all times.
Divers are prohibited from harvesting eggbearing lobsters, or using any device which may puncture, penetrate or crush the exoskeleton.
Possession limits are enforced on and off the water
Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary during both the 2-day sport season and regular season.
Click here for instructions on how to measure spiny lobster.
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