Conservation

Gulf Grouper Rec Season Opens April 1

Gulf Grouper Rec Season

Gulf Grouper Rec SeasonThe Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council reminds anglers that the recreational harvest of shallow-water groupers — except for gag grouper — reopens on April 1 within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico federal waters.

The annual February 1 – March 31 closure of Gulf recreational shallow-water grouper includes gag, black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind. According to the council, the two-month closure during spawning season helps reduce overfishing of gag and rebuild its populations so larger annual harvests may be possible in the future.

The gag grouper recreational season will open July 1 and close October 31. Size limits and bag limits (22 inches and two fish per person) for gags has not changed.

Federal regulations can change frequently. To download the latest regulations as of March 12, 2012, visit www.gulfcouncil.org/fishing_regulations/index.php, or call 813-348-1630 to request a copy.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.