Southwest Florida Blue Crab Trap Closure Ending Early On July 17

Recreational and commercial blue crab traps can be placed back in southwest Florida waters starting Monday, July 17. The blue crab trap closure included state waters from shore to 3 nautical miles, including intracoastal waterways, of Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. This regional blue crab trap closure was previously waived for Collier, Lee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties by Executive Order for the 2023 calendar year.
Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water. They can also be unsightly in the marine environment, damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.
The closure is one of three regional, 10-day blue crab trap closures that occur in 2023 (see map). The final closure is for state waters from Hernando through Wakulla counties, including all waters of the Ochlockonee River and Ochlockonee Bay, which will close to blue crab traps on July 20-29. There are six regional closures total: three in even-numbered years on the east coast and three in odd-numbered years on the west coast.
For more information regarding the FWC’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and cleanup events, go to (click on “Saltwater Fishing,” then “Trap Retrieval/Debris Removal”). For additional information, contact the FWC’s trap-retrieval coordinator, Pamela Gruver, at 850-487-0554.
For more on recreational and commercial blue crab regulations and trap closures, visit