Florida Gag Grouper Season To Close

Nov. 16 marks the end of the 2011 open recreational harvest season for gag grouper in Gulf of Mexico Florida state waters (excluding Monroe County).

The fall harvest season first opened Sept. 16.

Back in April, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to close the gag grouper season in Gulf state waters for the rest of the year with the exception of the fall harvest season in an effort to become consistent with similar pending federal management efforts. Gag groupers are considered to be overfished in Gulf waters and elsewhere.

In state and federal Atlantic waters (including Monroe County), the recreational season is open through Jan. 1, 2012.

Federal efforts are being made to put new management guidelines in place to rebuild the population of gag grouper. Temporary changes in 2011 federal management efforts also included a year-long gag grouper recreational harvest closure in Gulf of Mexico federal waters (beyond nine nautical miles from shore) with the exception of the Sept. 16 through Nov. 15 open season.

An FWC meeting on Nov. 16 in Key Largo will further discuss other proposed measures affecting gag groupers.

More information on Gulf gag grouper and upcoming rule changes are available online at MyFWC.com/Commission by clicking on “Commission Meetings” and “Agenda.”

For more news on fishing regulations, click here.

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