FWC Update: May 1
Atlantic Grouper Season Re-Opens May 1
Anglers targeting grouper in Florida state and federal waters of the Atlantic, including state waters off Monroe County, will be able to take home some of their catch starting May 1, when the season for several species reopens to recreational and commercial harvest. The following species will reopen to harvest May 1: gag, black, red, yellowmouth and yellowfin grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby.
The harvest of these species of grouper will remain open until Jan. 1, 2010. These species are closed annually from Jan. 1 through April 30 each year as a measure to ensure the long-term sustainability of Atlantic grouper species. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore to 3 nautical miles out.
Recreational anglers targeting these species may not take more than three groupers per person, per day. Within this three-fish limit, anglers may possess only one gag or black grouper (not both).
Dehooking tools must be aboard commercial and recreational vessels for use as needed to remove hooks from reef fish, including Atlantic grouper.
More information about grouper bag and size limits, gear restrictions and fishing seasons, including a map of the Atlantic and Gulf grouper fishing boundaries, is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing; select “Saltwater Fishing” then “Recreational Regulations” and “Groupers.”
Atlantic Hogfish Season Re-Opens May 1
Hogfish recreational harvest will re-open May 1 and close October 31. As of August 2017, bag limits changed from five to one fish per harvester and increased the minimum size limit from 12 to 16 inches fork length. Legal gear includes spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, and cast net. Reef fish gear requirements apply and made be found online at http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/reef-fish-gear-rules/.
Stone Crab closes May 16 (reopens October 15).