The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced the closure of the recreational harvest of Red Grouper (Epinephelus morio) in Gulf of Mexico state waters, excluding waters of Monroe County, at 12:01 am, local time on August 30. The closure will be in effect for the remainder of the 2022 fishing season. Recreational harvest will reopen on January 31st, 2023.
This closure is to be consistent with the closure in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service. The federal waters closure of the recreational red grouper fishery was announced because of landings information that had come in. The information indicates that the 2022 recreational quota is projected to be met on Aug. 29, 2022. The red grouper is primarily a Florida fishery so consistency of the open and closed seasons in both state and federal waters off of Florida is important. This is to prevent overfishing and continue to improve healthy stock abundance.
It is to be noted that this is only in effect in Florida State waters in the Gulf of Mexico this does not apply to State waters in the Atlantic as of now. When the season is open the daily limit and size limit in the Gulf of Mexico is up to four fish total inside the daily grouper aggregate and the total length minimum is 20 inches.
For the federal closure, the date of the closure was chosen by the recreational data from sources such as the Marine Recreational Information Program, the Southeast Region Headboat Survey, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Using this data NOAA Fisheries scientists’ projections indicate the ACT of 1,840,000 lb gw will be met as of August 29, 2022. Prompting the August 30 recreational fishing closure of red grouper.
For more on these regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and select “Recreational Regulations” or download the Fish Rules App at Instagram.com/FishRules or Facebook.com/FishRulesApp.