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FWC approves Gulf gray triggerfish limited fall season, conservation measures

At its July meeting in Orlando, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several management changes for gray triggerfish caught in Gulf of Mexico state waters including a limited fall season and several conservation measures.

“By approving this limited season and conservation measures, we are hoping to balance harvest opportunities for recreational anglers with continued rebuilding of this species,” said Commissioner Mike Sole.

Due to the 2016 federal quota being exceeded, the Gulf recreational gray triggerfish season was closed in state and federal waters for all of 2017. At a previous FWC meeting, the Commission expressed interest in potentially opening a fall 2017 season. After considering public testimony at the July 2017 meeting, the Commission directed staff to issue an executive order to reopen the fishery for a limited season this fall. Staff will issue another press release once the season has been determined. The season will also be posted online and will be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”

Approved federal consistency changes include (to go into effect only after federal regulations go into effect, likely sometime in 2018):

  • Decreasing the recreational daily bag limit from two to one fish per person.
  • Increasing the recreational size limit from 14 to 15 inches fork length.
  • Creating a January through February annual recreational closure in addition to the current June through July annual spawning closure.

These federal consistency measures should help maintain fishing opportunities for gray triggerfish in state and federal waters for 2018 and the future. The effective date for these changes will be posted online and will be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”

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