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December 21, 2011

Florida Grouper Regulations Update

Changes coming for a number of grouper species

Florida's red grouper bag limit in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) will increase Dec. 30 from two to four fish. The season will remain open until Feb. 1.

Management changes in 2012 will also affect gag grouper season, which is currently closed to fishing in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) and will continue to be closed through March 31, 2012.

Seasonal closures for red and gag grouper, as well as other shallow-water groupers, are also nearing.

In Atlantic state waters, including Monroe County, the season closes Jan. 1 and reopens May 1. Shallow-water grouper season closes Feb. 1 in Gulf state waters and reopens April 1.

Shallow water groupers in Gulf state waters include gag, red, black, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers; scamp; and rock and red hind. In Atlantic state waters, it also includes tiger grouper, coney and graysby.

Federal managers are working on a plan to further protect gag grouper, which is overfished and undergoing overfishing in the Gulf. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will revisit state gag grouper management efforts in February 2012, once federal rules are solidified.

For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Grouper.”