FWC on triggerfish season, flounder regulations
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that the recreational gray triggerfish season reopens to harvest in Gulf state and federal waters on March 1 and will remain open through May 31, closing on June 1 through July 31 for an annual spawning season closure.
If you plan to fish for gray triggerfish in Gulf state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required). To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “State Reef Fish Survey” under “Reef Fish.” Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.
Learn more about gray triggerfish regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish,” which is under the “Reef Fish” tab.
In addition, it reported that the following changes will go into effect on March 1 for flounder:
– Extending all FWC flounder regulations into federal waters.
– Increasing the minimum size limit from 12 inches to 14 inches total length (recreational and commercial).
– Reducing the recreational daily bag limit from 10 to five fish per person.
– Establishing an Oct. 15 through Nov. 30 recreational closed season.
– For commercial harvesters using allowable gear: Establishing a commercial trip and vessel limit of 150 fish from Dec. 1 through Oct. 14, and 50 fish from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30.
– Modifying the incidental bycatch limit for commercial harvesters using non-allowable gear from 50 pounds per trip to 50 fish per trip.
– Creating a federal waters trawl bycatch limit of 150 fish per trip from Dec. 1 through Oct. 14, and 50 fish per trip from Oct. 15 through Nov. 30.
The commission approved the changes at its December meeting because a stock status update suggested that the fishery statewide has been in a general declining trend and is likely overfished and undergoing overfishing on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Other south Atlantic and Gulf states have also reported declines in flounder populations and have been making their own regulation changes.
Learn more about flounder regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine.