For immediate release: February 13, 2009
Grouper season closures set to help species
The recreational harvest season for red and black grouper in Gulf of Mexico federal waters closes Feb. 15 and will reopen on March 15. Federal waters extend beyond nine nautical miles offshore of Florida in the Gulf.
The recreational harvest of red and black grouper is still allowed in Gulf state waters inside the nine-nautical-mile line under existing Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission bag- and size-limit regulations.
The recreational harvest season for gag grouper from all Gulf waters off Florida closed on Feb. 1 and will reopen on April 1.
The commercial harvest season for gag, red and black grouper in all Gulf waters off Florida, except Monroe County waters, closes on Feb. 15 and will reopen on March 15. The commercial harvest season for gag and black grouper in all Atlantic waters off Florida, including all Monroe County waters, closes March 1 and will reopen May 1.
These season closures will reduce the harvest of groupers and help rebuild the population of these species.
1/28/2009-North Florida spotted seatrout season closes, Atlantic snook reopens Feb. 1
On Feb. 1 the recreational harvest season for spotted seatrout in North Florida will close for one month to help maintain spotted seatrout abundance. The sport harvest season for Atlantic snook will reopen on the same date.
The harvest and possession of spotted seatrout is prohibited Feb. 1 - March 1 in all waters north of the Flagler-Volusia county line to the Florida-Georgia border in the Atlantic and north of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway, which is 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas-Pasco county line, to the Florida-Alabama border in the Gulf. All other areas in Florida remain open to recreational harvest of spotted seatrout.
The recreational harvest season for snook reopens Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. Anglers may keep one snook between 28 and 32 inches total length per day from these waters.
Licensed saltwater anglers must purchase a $2 permit to harvest snook. Snatch-hooking and spearing snook are prohibited, and it is illegal to buy or sell snook. Snook regulations also apply in federal waters.
The harvest of snook remains closed in all of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico, Everglades National Park and Monroe County coastal and inland waters until March 1.
For immediate release: December 4, 2008
FWC approves Gulf gag and red grouper rule changes
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Thursday approved rule amendments for gag grouper in Gulf of Mexico state waters that are consistent with interim regulations in Gulf federal waters. In addition, the FWC approved a rule amendment to allow Florida recreational anglers to harvest more red grouper in Gulf state waters.
A recent stock assessment indicated that Gulf gag grouper are undergoing overfishing (excessive harvesting pressure), and harvest levels must be reduced. Interim federal regulations to address this situation will be implemented in Gulf waters beyond nine nautical miles offshore of Florida in January. Today’s FWC action will make Florida gag grouper rules in state waters consistent with the interim federal regulations.
The new rules establish a two-fish-per-person recreational daily bag limit for gag grouper within the five-grouper aggregate limit in Gulf state waters, and prohibit the recreational harvest of gag grouper from Gulf state waters from Feb. 1 through March 31.
Another new FWC rule increases the recreational daily bag limit for red grouper in Gulf state waters from one fish per person to two. The FWC is taking this action now because a recent stock assessment concluded that the Gulf red grouper stock has recovered enough to allow an increase in harvest levels, and it is expected that the recreational red grouper bag limit in Gulf federal waters will be increased to two fish sometime in 2009.
“The improvement in red grouper abundance in the Gulf gives us a chance to ‘give back’ some fish to anglers and helps reduce the overall impacts of the new gag grouper restrictions,” said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the FWC.
These rules will take effect on Jan. 1. More information on grouper management is available online at MyFWC.com/marine/grouper/index.htm.
For immediate release: December 4, 2008
Size limits changed for Gulf amberjack and triggerfish
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved new rules Thursday to increase the minimum size limits for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in Gulf of Mexico state waters. This action is consistent with new regulations in Gulf federal waters, which extend beyond nine nautical miles offshore of Florida.
Federal fisheries managers recently implemented a management plan for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish in Gulf federal waters. Greater amberjack in the Gulf are considered to be overfished (low stock abundance) and undergoing overfishing (excessive harvesting pressure). Gray triggerfish in the Gulf are considered to be undergoing overfishing.
The new rules increase the recreational minimum size limit for greater amberjack from 28 to 30 inches fork length and increase the commercial and recreational minimum size limit for gray triggerfish from 12 to 14 inches fork length in Gulf state waters.
These rules take effect on Jan. 1.