Commercial Regulations for Oysters

Oyster Regulations

A bag equals two five-gallon buckets, one 10-gallon bucket or 60 lbs. of culled oysters in the shell.Oyster Working

Undersized oysters must be culled immediately upon harvest and returned to the reef from which they were harvested. Undersized oysters may number no more than five percent (by count) of unattached oysters per bag and no more than 15 percent (by count) attached (such that separation would destroy either oyster) per bag. Vessels connected together, such as towing, may only claim one bag limit all together.

Commercial and recreational harvest by any person during the same day is prohibited.

Bycatch from trawling or dragging any gear over a public oyster bar should be returned to the water as closely as possible to the beds where taken and transport and sale of bycatch or oysters taken intentionally is prohibited. Wholesale and retail dealers may not sell oysters unless they are labeled and traceable to the point of harvest.

Upon leaving an area, harvesters must pass through a monitoring station when in operation. Harvest on leased parcels is subject to the established rules unless otherwise exempted by the approved lease provisions.

Harvest from public reefs is prohibited from July 1 - Sept. 30, except as provided below.

In Wakulla, Dixie and Levy Counties, harvest is prohibited from June 1 - Aug. 31.

NOTE: This regulation is slated to be removed soon. This act is inconsistent with and more restrictive than current statewide fishing regulations and the repeal of this local rule will result in greater access and regulatory consistency. In Indian River County, harvest is prohibited within 75 feet of the shoreline of the Indian River, any canal bank or any privately owned submerged lands or dock without written permission of the owner. 

In Volusia County, oysters harvested from an approved public bar may not be stockpiled onto a lease.

 

Apalachicola Bay Season

Closed Days/Areas

Daily Bag Limit 

June 1 - Aug. 31

Closed Fridays and Saturdays

East Hole closed

8 bags per person

Sept. 1 - May 31

Closed Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

East Hole closed

5 bags per person

Apalachicola Bay includes St. George Sound, East Bay, Apalachicola Bay, and St. Vincent Sound and their canals, channels, rivers and creeks; and Indian Lagoon and its canals, channels, rivers and creeks.

Harvest is allowed only in areas referenced in paragraph 5L - 1.003(1). Table 2 of the DACS Comprehensive Shellfish Control Code.

If the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) determines the area known as Cat Point (Area 1642) should be closed to harvest due to water-quality concerns, Area 1601, also known as Porters Bar and Platform Bar, and Area 1611, which includes Bayou Flats and Pickalene Bar, will also close.

 

Oyster Management

Sept. 1-May 31, 2015:

  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest of oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole;
  • Lowering the daily commercial harvest and possession limit from 20 to five  bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets);
  • Lowering the daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit all to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day; a bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets);
  • Closing commercial and recreational oyster harvest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Closing two other shellfish harvesting areas (Area 1601, also known as Porters Bar and Platform Bar, and Area 1611, which includes Bayou Flats and Pickalene Bar), if the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) determines the area known as Cat Point (Area 1642) should be closed to harvest due to water-quality concerns. FDACS regularly monitors shellfish harvesting areas for water-quality standards and closes and reopens these areas based on whether standards are met to safely harvest shellfish for consumption.

All other harvest regulations remain in effect.

 

From June 1-Aug. 31, 2014:

  • the commercial harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay is closed on Fridays and Saturdays;
  • the area known as East Hole is closed;
  • the daily commercial harvest and possession limit is lowered from 20 to eight bags (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets) of oysters in the shell per person;
  •  the daily recreational harvest, vessel and possession limit has been lowered to five gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day with one bag being equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets).


FWC Facts:
Four species of black bass occur in Florida's fresh waters. The most popular is the Florida largemouth bass, which can grow to larger than 20 pounds.

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