Florida Keys

Two Florida men busted spearing undersized, out-of-season lobster in the Keys, cops say

A look at lobster season in South Florida

The spiny lobster recreational and commercial season closes to harvest in state and federal waters starting April 1 and will reopen Aug. 6. The two-day recreational sport season is July 25 and 26. In this video, learn more about the life cycle of
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The spiny lobster recreational and commercial season closes to harvest in state and federal waters starting April 1 and will reopen Aug. 6. The two-day recreational sport season is July 25 and 26. In this video, learn more about the life cycle of

Two Florida men are in hot water for trying to harvest undersized, out-of-season lobster.

Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Lance O’Conner Rossbach, 19, and Clay Matthew Kerr, 22, both of Melbourne, Friday evening “for a litany of lobster-related charges.”

According to deputies, Middle Keys Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was patrolling the island chain’s gulf side behind Coast Guard Station Marathon at 6:10 p.m. Friday on a Yamaha WaveRunner. He saw two people in the water spearfishing without a dive flag.

Guerra then saw Rossbach and Kerr swim over to an inflatable boat and so he stopped the boat and asked to check out their catch.

According to the sheriff department’s report, “Kerr pulled five, wrung lobster tails from his short’s pocket.”

Three of the lobsters were undersized, according to Guerra. All of them had been speared.

Deputies say Rossbach reached into his pocket and pulled out two, wrung lobster tails. One of the lobsters were undersized. Both had been speared.

Monroe deputies charged Rossbach and Kerr with five misdemeanor counts of possession of out-of-season lobster, undersized lobster, speared lobster, wrung lobster tails in the water and no measuring device in the water while harvesting lobster. Both men were taken to jail.

The lobster tails were returned to the water, deputies said.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.

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