Grouper Closure set for Jan. 1 in Florida

Popular species of grouper close to recreational take starting Jan. 1 in Florida's Atlantic state waters.

Gag grouper

Gag grouper

Popular species of grouper will close to recreational take starting Jan. 1 in Florida state waters of the Atlantic, including Monroe County (Florida Keys) waters.

The seasonal closure includes most of the shallow water groupers, including gag, black, red, yellowmouth, yellowfin and tiger grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore to three nautical miles out.

Each species of grouper remains closed to take in Atlantic state waters through April 30, reopening May 1. The closure was established to ensure the long-term sustainability of Atlantic grouper species, according to fish regulators from the SAFMC.

A similar closure will also take effect in federal waters of the Atlantic. The annual shallow-water grouper spawning closure takes place from January 1 through April 30. Prohibition on recreational species include gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper.