Low stone crab catch reported across Florida - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Low stone crab catch reported across Florida

Posted: Updated:
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

Some local fishermen say they're trapped in a bad stone crab season. This season's bad harvest is driving up prices at restaurants and local fish markets.

"Right now, we're doing everything in our power, including driving to south Florida to pick up stone crabs," said Darryl Wheatley at I.C. Sharks in St. Petersburg.

Florida's stone crab harvest began October 15th and ends May 15th. Fishermen say the season started off strong in Tampa Bay, but for months they've been pulling up nearly empty traps.

"We're struggling to get them and so obviously that hurts our bottom line in the end," said Wheatley. "It's just been a strange season."

Florida Fish & Wildlife marine research associate Charles Crawford says there are crabs in the Gulf of Mexico, they're just hiding out.

"The past two winters, they've been warmer than usual, the crabs really don't move around that much. So they're not out getting caught by the trap," explained Crawford.

Red tide and trap-raiding predators could also be contributing to this season's shortage, he said.

"We do have certain times when the octopus will come into an area and just feast on certain areas and then just move on, which happened in some areas this season," said Crawford.

Researchers agree it's a bad year for fisherman, but say it's just part of the natural cycle of up and down seasons for the state's famous crustaceans.

"Once we come off a few good years, we do have a down slope, you know a few, couple years of bad fishing and I think that's what they're seeing now," explain Crawford.

Wheatley said some local fishermen are catching extra blue crabs this season to make up for their lower stone crab counts.  In other parts of the state, some fishermen are putting away their traps early, according to an Associated Press report.

  • Cab driver records multiple verbal threats from airport police officer

    Cab driver records multiple verbal threats from airport police officer

    Cab driver records multiple verbal threats from airport police officer

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 12:53 AM EDT2014-09-17 04:53:54 GMT
    Geoff Campbell now sits in Sam's Club parking lot waiting for flights after alleged verbal threats.Geoff Campbell now sits in Sam's Club parking lot waiting for flights after alleged verbal threats.
    ROANOKE (WSLS) -What started out as trying to get their fair share of business from travelers at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has now turned personal for B. Early Cab Company after employees there say they were threatened by airport police .''You're a lousy cab driver and a total piece of ****. “That's just the beginning of a series of degrading remarks made on the recording that cab driver Geoff Campbell says he secretly recorded on his iPhone.“You're a total piece of **** and a p...
    ROANOKE (WSLS) -What started out as trying to get their fair share of business from travelers at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has now turned personal for B. Early Cab Company after employees there say they were threatened by airport police .''You're a lousy cab driver and a total piece of ****. “That's just the beginning of a series of degrading remarks made on the recording that cab driver Geoff Campbell says he secretly recorded on his iPhone.“You're a total piece of **** and a p...
  • William Byrd High School pageant to raise money for Dancing with the Valley Stars

    William Byrd High School pageant to raise money for Dancing with the Valley Stars

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-09-17 03:44:38 GMT
    Dancing with the Valley Stars is less than two months away and in the meantime dancers are raising money for the Turning Point Women's Shelter.
    Dancing with the Valley Stars is less than two months away and in the meantime dancers are raising money for the Turning Point Women's Shelter.
  • Residents rally against proposed pipeline in Nelson County

    Residents rally against proposed pipeline in Nelson County

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-09-17 03:40:58 GMT
    Dozens of people attended an public meeting in Nelson County to learn more about a proposed pipeline. 
    Dozens of people attended an public meeting in Nelson County to learn more about a proposed pipeline. 
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.