The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council reminds anglers that the recreational harvest of shallow-water groupers - except for gag - reopens April 1 within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico federal waters.
The annual February 1 - March 31 closure of Gulf recreational shallow-water grouper includes gag, black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind. The two-month closure during spawning season helps reduce overfishing of gag and rebuild its populations so that larger annual harvests may be possible in the future.
Note the gag recreational season remains closed. Gag will open July 1 and close October 31. Size limits and bag limits (22" and 2/person) for gag have not changed.
Federal regulations can change frequently. To download the latest regulations (March 12, 2012) , please visit: http://www.gulfcouncil.org/fishing_regulations/index.php, or call 813.348.1630 to request a copy.