The 2015 spiny lobster season opens with the two-day recreational sport season July 29 and 30, followed by the regular commercial and recreational lobster season, which starts Aug. 6 and runs through March 31.
In addition, this year, divers have an incentive to remove some invasive lionfish while they’re in the water. Divers can take one extra spiny lobster each day during the two-day sport season if they also harvest 10 or more lionfish first, on the same day.
No one wants a small lobster for dinner. Make sure you check the size. Measuring devices are required, and lobsters must be measured while they are in the water. If the carapace length is not larger than 3 inches, it must be left in the water (see image on how to measure spiny lobster).
To protect the next generation and your future chances to have lobster for dinner, harvest of egg-bearing females is prohibited. Lobsters have hundreds of thousands of eggs that are easily visible and attached under the tail. While most lobsters have completed reproduction by the start of the fishing season, finding lobsters with eggs is common in July and August.
Bring a cooler big enough to hold the entire lobster. Spiny lobsters must remain in whole condition until they are brought to shore. Also, do not take spiny lobster with any device that might puncture, penetrate or crush its shell.
Stick to the bag and possession limits so there will be enough lobsters for all your friends and family. During the two-day spiny lobster sport season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take up to six lobsters per person daily in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park waters or seven lobsters if they take at least 10 lionfish first that same day.
In other Florida waters, they can take 12 lobsters per person day or 13 if they first take at least 10 lionfish on that same day. You may possess no more than the daily bag limit of lobsters when you are on the water. When you are off the water, you may possess no more than the daily bag limit on the first day of the sport season and no more than double the daily bag limit on the second day.
Then, melt the butter!