FWC approves final rule to modify gag grouper recreational season in Gulf state waters 

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on July 15, 2022

At its July meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a final rule, effective January 1, 2023, modifying the recreational season for gag grouper in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The recreational season for gag grouper in Gulf state waters will be open Sept. 1 – Nov. 10.

This modification for gag grouper in Gulf state waters is intended to prevent overfishing, improve stock abundance and help ensure future gag fishing opportunities. This change is consistent with pending regulations in adjacent federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The FWC is committed to collecting critical recreational harvest fishing data to inform management of gag grouper, in addition to other reef fish. The State Reef Fish Survey uses in-person interviews and a mail survey to collect information on recreational fishing for reef fish, such as gag grouper, from private boats. These methods provide the FWC with a clearer picture of the health of reef fish stocks throughout the state and help ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing in Florida.

The State Reef Fish Angler designation is required for recreational anglers and spearfishers who intend to fish for or harvest certain reef fish species from a private vessel in Florida. This designation makes recreational anglers eligible for selection to receive a mail survey component of the State Reef Fish Survey. To learn more about the State Reef Fish Survey, visit MyFWC.com/SRFS.

For more information, including the July 2022 Commission meeting presentation, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings.”

For current recreational gag grouper regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations”, “Reef Fish” and then “Grouper.” This page will be updated with regulation modifications.

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