08 April 2011
Some Recreational Fishing Harvest Seasons Open
The recreational harvest of shallow-water groupers in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters off Florida, except in all waters of Monroe County, reopens on April 1. However, the recreational harvest of gag grouper is still prohibited in Gulf federal waters off Florida (beyond nine nautical miles from shore). Also, persons on federally permitted for-hire reef fish vessels may not harvest or possess gag grouper in both federal and state Gulf waters (within nine nautical miles from shore).
The Gulf recreational shallow-water grouper fishery (gag, black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind) has been closed since Feb. 1 to protect gag grouper, which are often found and caught with the other grouper species. This two-month closure during Gulf grouper spawning season helps to reduce overfishing of gag grouper and rebuild its populations so that larger annual harvests may be possible in the future.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also reminds fishermen that the recreational and commercial harvest of shallow-water groupers (including gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, and tiger grouper) remains closed until May 1 in all Atlantic Ocean and Monroe County waters.
The recreational harvest season for vermilion snapper in Atlantic Ocean waters off Florida opens on April 1. Recreational fishing for vermilion snapper has been closed in Atlantic state and federal waters since Nov. 1 to reduce overfishing and help increase the population of vermilion snapper.
The minimum size limit for vermilion snapper in Atlantic waters is 12 inches total length. Anglers may take up to five vermilion snapper daily in Atlantic waters; however, the captain and crew of for-hire vessels may not keep the daily limit.
The recreational and commercial harvest season for spiny lobster in Florida waters closes on April 1. The regular season will reopen on Aug. 6.
The special 2-day sport season for the recreational harvest of spiny lobster will be July 27 and 28 this year.
More information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about spiny lobster regulations is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing.