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Gray Triggerfish, Greater Amberjack Recreational Season to Open in Gulf

Kyle Miller holds his catch, a greater amberjack, after reeling it in off the waters of Panama City. Taken April 3, 2012, on a tagging trip by Amanda Nalley. Source : www.myfwc.com

Gray triggerfish and greater amberjack will open for recreational harvest in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters Aug. 1. The commercial harvest of gray triggerfish will also reopen Aug. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters.

The gray triggerfish season closed on June 10 this year, when new management measures went into effect. In future years, it will close June 1 in state and federal waters. Recreational harvest of greater amberjack also closes June 1 in state and federal waters.

When the gray triggerfish season reopens, new bag and trip limits will also be in effect in Gulf state and federal waters. The recreational bag limit will be two fish per person, per day, and the commercial limit will be 12 fish per trip.

Gray triggerfish have a unique spawning behavior that makes them vulnerable during the peak spawning season, usually during June and July. Male triggerfish coax females to nesting areas, where they all care for and guard their eggs after spawning. Closing gray triggerfish during their peak spawning time and implementing a recreational bag limit and a commercial trip limit should help rebuild the gray triggerfish population.

The minimum size limit for gray triggerfish in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters is 14 inches fork length, which is measured from the tip of the fish's closed mouth to the center of the fork in the tail. The minimum size limit in Atlantic state waters is 12 inches fork length.

The minimum size limit for recreationally caught greater amberjack in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters is 30 inches fork length. In Atlantic state waters, the recreational size limit is 28 inches fork length. Recreational anglers may take one greater amberjack per person, per day.

Reef-fish gear rules apply when fishing for gray triggerfish and greater amberjack. In all Gulf waters, this means anglers must use circle hooks, and have a dehooking device and a venting tool on their vessel.

Using these tools will help increase a fish's chance of survival if it is caught and returned to the water.

State waters in the Gulf extend from shore to 9 nautical miles and in the Atlantic from shore to 3 nautical miles; federal waters extend from those boundaries to about 200 miles from shore.

Learn more about saltwater fishing by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater.”

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