At its July meeting in Orlando, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved lengthening the Gulf of Mexico gag grouper recreational season in state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties by opening the season Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. The Commission also approved changing the gag grouper commercial minimum size limit in Gulf state waters from 22 to 24 inches. This size limit change is consistent with pending federal regulations.
For the gag grouper recreational season, state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties are currently open from April 1 through June 30. The FWC received stakeholder requests for a longer season that would make fishing opportunities in the four-county area more comparable with the rest of the Gulf, where there is a seven-month season that runs June 1 through Dec. 31.
“The regional management of this species has been a success story. Anglers have been able to fish for this species during more desired times of the year while still promoting conservation,” said Chairman Brian Yablonski. “We are excited that we can offer these additional fishing opportunities to Florida’s anglers.”
The current April 1 through June 30 season will remain in place and the fall season from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 will be in place in time for anglers to participate this year.