Published: May 15, 2014 7:05 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - Florida's stone crab season is almost over.
    
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say Thursday is the last day to harvest. The commercial and recreational harvest closes on Friday.
    
The timing coincides with the species' peak spawning season each year. The wildlife commission says the timing helps protect and sustain Florida's valuable stone crab resources. Stone crab season will reopen on Oct. 15.
    
Commercially harvested stone crab claws can still be sold once the season closes as long as it was placed in inventory prior to May 16 by a licensed wholesale or retail dealer. Traps must be removed within five days after the close of the stone crab season unless a special extension is granted by the commission.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)