Recreational closure of gray triggerfish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico

The recreational gray triggerfish season reopens to harvest in Gulf state and federal waters March 1, and will remain open through May 1, closing to harvest May 2, 2020.

If you plan to fish for gray triggerfish in Gulf state or federal waters, excluding Monroe County, from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required). To learn more, visit and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Reef Fish Survey” under “Reef Fish.” Sign up today at

Learn more about gray triggerfish regulations at by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish,” which is under the “Reef Fish” tab.

NOAA Fisheries recently announced that the Gulf recreational gray triggerfish fishery is estimated to meet its quota in early May, prompting an early quota closure in federal waters of May 2. At its February meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved also closing recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in state waters when Gulf federal waters close.


  • Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) will open at 12:01 am on March 1, 2020, and close at 12:01 am, local time, on May 2, 2020.
  • Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish is currently closed. The gray triggerfish fishery in Gulf federal waters is closed annually in January and February.
  • The 2021 recreational fishing year begins January 1, 2021. Recreational harvest will reopen March 1, 2021, following the January and February annual closure.


  • The 2020 recreational annual catch target is 217,100 pounds whole weight. Projections indicate that recreational landings of gray triggerfish will be met as of May 2, 2020.
  • In accordance with the regulations, NOAA Fisheries must close harvest when the annual catch target has been or is projected to be met. These closures are needed to prevent overfishing of gray triggerfish (annual catch rate is too high).


  • During the recreational closure, the bag and possession limit are zero for gray triggerfish in or from federal waters of the Gulf.
  • The prohibition on possession of Gulf gray triggerfish also applies in Gulf state waters for a vessel issued a valid federal charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish.

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