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

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