Gag grouper recreational harvest closing in 4-county Gulf region; may reopen this fall


Gag grouper recreational harvest will close in state waters off the coasts of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties July 1, with the last day of harvest June 30, but that might not be your last opportunity to fish for gag grouper in state waters off these counties. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet July 10 in Orlando to discuss potentially expanding this season to open Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, providing additional fishing opportunities to anglers in this area. To comment on proposed gag grouper management changes, visit Comments may also be made at the July meeting in Orlando.

The four-county region includes all waters of Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, including those in Gulf County, and all waters of the Steinhatchee River, including those in Dixie County.

The gag grouper recreational harvest season in Gulf of Mexico state waters, not including Franklin, Jefferson, Wakulla and Taylor counties, opened June 1 and will remain open through Dec. 31, closing Jan. 1, 2018. Monroe County is also excluded from this season because it follows the Atlantic season for gag grouper.

The FWC manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gag grouper caught in federal waters during the federal season and in state waters outside the four-county region may be taken ashore in Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties, but boats with gag grouper aboard may not stop and must have gear stowed while traveling through state waters in that region.

To learn more, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Groupers.”

For more information or to view the presentations given at the Commission meeting, visit and select “Commission Meetings” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”