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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Measuring Lobsters the Right Way  (Read 194 times)

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Hojoman

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February 9, 2018

Question: I jumped on an open party lobster trip recently (their counts were high!). The crew members were measuring while all of us were watching up close. The 3 ¼” tool would drop over the carapace and if fairly tight, they claimed it to be a “keeper.” When I politely asked them about this, they were adamant that these were legal bugs. Can you please describe proper measuring at the edge of a lobster’s carapace? Can the tool drop in over the carapace edge, and if tight, is a legal bug? (Jim Kelley)

Answer: The crew members were correct – an accurate measuring gauge should fit tightly in a straight line measurement on the lobster carapace from the rear edge of the eye socket to the rear edge of the body shell. When the lobster gauge is placed on the carapace, there should be no space at all between the gauge and the carapace. Please make sure the part of the gauge that is placed on the rear edge of the eye socket is on the hard part of the shell, not on the soft fleshy part where the eyes are. If there is any gap at all between the lobster carapace and the gauge, no matter how small, the lobster is too short and a citation could be issued. See California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.90(c) for specific language.