What's in Season?
For easy-to-understand science-based facts to help you make smart sustainable seafood choices, NOAA FishWatch provides information about U.S. seafood that is responsibly harvested under strict regulations that work to keep the environment healthy, fish populations thriving, and our seafood industry on the job.
Visit NOAA FishWatch
Blue Crab is harvested year round from all five Gulf states, with peak harvest levels
coming in the warm summer and fall months. Named for the light-blue tint of its
claws, the crab has a thick shell and 10 legs, allowing it to swim and scuttle
across bottomlands. As an adult, it lives in the Gulf's bays and estuaries amid
marshes that offer protection and abundant food sources.
Soft-shell Blue Crab, however, is only found in Florida and Louisiana. Peak Soft-shell
Blue Crab season is March through June.
Golden Crab is a large, non-swimming crab from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Caught year-round, adult males typically weigh between three and five pounds, while
the female is considerably smaller and possesses limited commercial value. Its golden-cream
shell color sets this crab apart from its close relatives, the Deep-Sea Red Crabs,
Snow and King Crabs.
Golden Crabs are found in the Sunshine State of Florida.
Gulf Stone Crab
Gulf Stone Crab is known for its large crusher claw that contains succulent meat.
It has merited a high market demand and premium prices. The Gulf Stone Crab’s maroon-brown
color distinguishes it from the Florida Stone Crab. Fishermen are allowed to take
claws at least 2 3/4 inches long and are required to return the crabs safely to
the water. They can regenerate claws three to four times during their lifetime.
Gulf Stone Crabs can be found throughout the five Gulf states.
Florida Stone Crab
Florida Stone Crabs are typically a dark brownish-red, more or less mottled and
spotted with dusky gray. Florida Stone Crabs feature a mark that resembles a thumbprint
on the inside of the large claw. Like the Gulf Stone Crab, they can regenerate claws
three to four times during their lifetime.
Florida Stone Crabs are found in West Central Florida around the peninsula to East
Central Florida and are in peak season from October through December.