4 Counties Open Gag Grouper Recreational Harvest on April 1


From WCTV Eyewitness News:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- State waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties will soon open to recreational harvest of gag grouper.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) says that the regional gag grouper recreational harvest season will run from April 1 to June 30.

This includes all waters of the Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, including those in gulf county, and all waters of the Steinhatchee River, including Dixie County.

FWC says gag grouper caught in state Gulf waters (from shore to 9 nautical miles out) off the four counties can be landed on the Gulf County side of Indian Pass and the Dixie County side of the Steinhatchee River, but may not be taken ashore in other areas that are closed to harvest.

To see maps of these areas, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing and select “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Grouper.”

In the remainder of Gulf of Mexico state waters, anglers will be able to keep gag grouper from July 1 through Dec. 3, with the season closing Dec. 4. State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties will not be open during the July-through-December season. Monroe County state waters follow Atlantic grouper rules.

The season in all federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico also opens July 1 but closes Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2.

In the Gulf, the gag grouper recreational harvest minimum size limit is 22 inches total length and the bag limit is two gag grouper per person.

Recreational anglers targeting groupers in the Gulf may harvest no more than four grouper per person per day (within this four-fish limit, anglers may keep only two gag grouper).

To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Grouper.”