Florida Keys

He was catching lobster in the Keys — and there was a problem with that, cops say

A Broward County man has a date in court after Monroe sheriff’s deputies say they caught him lobstering out-of-season in the Florida Keys and keeping ones that would be too small in-season.

Maykel Calderon Alvarez, of Davie, was swimming with a speargun by a seawall on the south end of the Long Key Bridge Sunday when deputies saw him get out of the water with a lobster in his hand as he walked to his car, sheriff’s office spokesman Adam Linhardt said.

Deputy Wilferedo Guerra asked Alvarez, 34, if he could inspect his catch, and Alvarez complied.

Guerra found four undersized lobsters, which were also caught out of season. He also found three barracuda — which is one over the legal limit.

Guerra issued Alvarez a citation to appear in court on violations of possession of undersized lobsters, possession of out of season lobsters and not having a lobster measuring device while in the water. The deputy also issued Alvarez warnings for not having a dive flag and for possessing three barracuda.

Lobster season runs from Aug. 6 until March 31. There is also a two-day “mini-season” on July 24 and 25 that brings thousands of people to South Florida and the Keys racing to catch their share of Florida spiny lobster.

The size limit on the crustaceans is a carapace — the part that is not the tail — that is at least three inches long. Measuring must be conducted while the animal is in the water.

Barracuda are considered “slot fish,” in that they must not be too small or too big to keep — no less than 15 inches and no more than 36 inches.

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