Commercial Trap Design and Vessel Marking

Black Sea Bass

Commercial Black Sea Bass Trap

  • Maximum trap size is 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet or a volume of 8 cubic feet
  • Mest size must be 1 1/2 inches or larger
  • The throat or entrance must not exceed 5 inches by 2 inches at its narrowest point
  • Must have at least two unobstructed escape rings (rectangular: 1 1/8 inch by 5 3/4 inch; circular: 2 inches in diameter; square: 1 3/4 inches measured inside the square) located on a vertical side of the trap
  • Atlantic Ocean traps in the water or on board a vessel must have a valid ID tag issued by NOAA Fisheries
  • The buoy must be no smaller than 6 inches and must be marked with a legible "B" and the owners SPL number at least 1 1/2 inches tall
  • NEW (5/30/2017): Buoy lines attached to sea bass traps must comply with marking, weak link, and breaking strength requirements for adjacent federal waters (please refer to 50 C.F.R. 622.189(g))

Blue Crab

Commercial Blue Crab Trap

  • Maximum trap size is 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet or a volume of 8 cubic feet
  • Mesh size must be 1 1/2 inches or larger
  • The throat or entrance cannot extend farther than 6 inches into the inside of any trap
  • Must have at least three escape rings, one of each located on a vertical outer surface adjacent to each chamber
  • Escape rings must be larger than 2 3/8 inches.
  • The trap must have a degradable panel larger than 3 inches by 6 inches
  • Types of degradable panels include: untreated jute twine, non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner, untreated pine dowel no larger than 2 inches in length by 3/8 inch in diameter or untreated pine slats no thicker than 3/8 inch
  • A blue crab trap tag must be permanently affixed
  • The buoy must be no smaller than 6 inches and must be marked with a legible blue crab endorsement number that is at least 2 inches tall

Pinfish

Pinfish Trap

 

  • Maximum trap size is 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet or a volume of 8 cubic feet
  • It is not required but it is recommended that some form of owner contact information is attached to the trap
  • Throat or entrance should not exceed 3 inches in height by 3/4 inches in width
  • A buoy is not required but is recommended for preventing loss of the trap

Spiny Lobster

Commercial Spiny Lobster Trap

  • Traps must be constructed of wood or plastic
  • Plastic traps must have a degradable panel.
  • Refer to the official rules before building or buying traps.
  • Wood slat traps must be no larger than 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet or a volume of 12 cubic feet
  • These traps shall be constructed with wood slats that are a minimum of 1 ¼ inches wide with a maximum spacing between slats of 2 ¼ inches
  • The throat or entrance must be larger than 6 inches by 3 ½ inches and must be located in the top horizontal section of the trap
  • A spiny lobster trap tag must be permanently affixed
  • The buoy must be no smaller than 6 inches and must be marked with a legible spiny lobster endorsement number that is at least 2 inches tall

Stone Crab

Commercial Stone Crab Trap

  • Maximum trap size is 24 inches by 24 inches by 24 inches or a volume of 8 cubic feet
  • Traps can be made from either wood, wire or plastic
  • The throat or entrance must be 5 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches
  • If the throat or entrance is round, it cannot exceed 5 inches in diameter
  • Plastic traps must have a degradable pane that is 5 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches and is made of cypress or untreated pine slat no thicker than ¾ of an inch
  • Wire traps must have at least three unobstructed escape rings (2 3/8 inches in diameter) located on a vertical side of the trap.
  • A stone crab trap tag must be permanently affixed
  • The buoy must be no smaller than 6 inches and must be marked with a legible blue crab endorsement number that is at least 2 inches tall

Vessel

(applies to commercial stone crab, blue crab and lobster vessels)

Commercial Trap Boat Identification

  • Endorsement numbers on side of vessel must be at least 4 inches tall
  • The buoy color must be displayed on the side of the vessel in an 8 inch in diameter circle outlined in contrasting color
  • When viewing the vessel from the air, the buoy color must be displayed in a 20 inch diameter circle outlined in contrasting color with the endorsement number affixed beneath in numerals 10 inches tall or larger


FWC Facts:
Recreational licenses and permits are sold at county tax collectors' offices – and at retailers that sell hunting or fishing equipment, online and by phone.

Learn More at AskFWC