Florida's lackluster stone crab season is over

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 9:51 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 9:51 a.m.

KEY WEST, Fla. — Florida's stone crab season is over.

Commercial and recreational harvests of stone crab claws close Wednesday. The next season begins Oct. 15.

Commercial fishermen in the Florida Keys say it's been a disastrous harvest.

Last year, they got around $18 a pound for jumbo claws, $12 a pound for large claws and $7 or $8 for medium claws.

Commercial fisherman George Niles tells The Key West Citizen that those prices went up as much as $6 a pound this year, but production was so poor that the season wasn't lucrative.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist says red tides and a fatal parasite plagued stone crabs this year.

This season's harvest may total about 2 million pounds. A good season should yield about 3 million pounds.

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