FWC Announces Important Season Closures

#The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advises anglers that the recreational harvest of all shallow-water groupers (gag, black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind) is prohibited from Feb. 1 through March 31 in all Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters off Florida, except in all waters of Monroe County.

Closing the recreational harvest of all Gulf shallow-water grouper species for two months during the spawning season is designed to reduce overfishing of Gulf gag grouper by limiting the unintended catch and possible mortality of gag grouper to help rebuild its populations and achieve larger annual harvests in the future for this important species. Recreational gag grouper fishing has been closed in Gulf federal waters since Jan. 1.

The FWC also advises anglers that the recreational harvest season for spotted seatrout in North Florida will close for one month to help maintain spotted seatrout abundance.

The harvest and possession of spotted seatrout is prohibited from Feb. 1 until March 1 in all waters north of the Flagler/Volusia counties line to the Florida-Georgia border in the Atlantic, and north of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway (which is about 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas/Pasco counties line) to the Florida-Alabama border in the Gulf.

More information on these and other regulations is available online at MyFWC.com/Rules (click on ?Fishing ? Saltwater?).

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