Several species of grouper, including black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind will close to recreational harvest from Feb. 1 through March 31 in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, excluding state waters of Monroe County.
Gag grouper has a separate season from other Gulf of Mexico grouper and is currently closed to harvest. A proposed 2013 gag grouper season in state waters will be discussed at the February Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in Orlando.
The upcoming two-month recreational harvest closure that starts Feb. 1 was put in place to help rebuild the gag grouper fishery. Gag grouper spawn during the February and March closure, so limiting the harvest of other grouper helps reduce the number of gag grouper that are caught unintentionally and die after being released.
More information regarding grouper fishing regulations, including the current grouper closure in Atlantic and Monroe County waters, is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing. Visit MyFWC.com/Commission to learn more about the February Commission meeting.