Florida recently announced that it will increase the recreational red grouper bag limit in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) on December 30 from two fish to four. And, on January 1 the season for shallow-water grouper in Atlantic state waters will close.
The red grouper bag limit increase is one of several fishery management changes made at the November Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in Key Largo.
Management changes in 2012 will also affect the gag grouper season, which is currently closed to fishing in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) and will continue to be closed through March 31, 2012. This includes the regularly scheduled annual closure from February 1 through March 31 in Gulf state waters.
According to Florida fishery managers, both measures will help the state achieve consistency with federal red and gag grouper management efforts.
Federal managers are working on a plan to further protect gag grouper, which is presently listed as overfished and undergoing overfishing in the Gulf. The FWC will revisit state gag grouper management efforts in February 2012, once federal rules are solidified.
Season closures for red and gag grouper, as well as other shallow-water groupers, are also nearing. In Atlantic state waters, including Monroe County, the season closes January 1 and reopens May 1. Shallow-water grouper season closes February 1 in Gulf state waters and reopens April 1.
Shallow-water groupers in Gulf state waters include gag, red, black, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers, scamp and rock and red hind. In Atlantic state waters, it also includes tiger grouper, coney and graysby.
For more information visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Grouper.”
Florida Grouper Gulf