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Gag grouper season to close in Gulf of Mexico state waters Nov. 16

For immediate release: November 14, 2011
Contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-487-0554

Gag grouper season to close in Gulf of Mexico state waters Nov. 16

The 2011 open recreational harvest season for gag grouper in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) will close Wednesday, Nov.16. The final day of harvesting is Nov. 15.
This fall harvest season opened Sept. 16.

At the April 2011 meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Commissioners voted to close the gag grouper season in Gulf state waters for the rest of the year with the exception of the fall harvest season in an effort to become consistent with similar pending federal management efforts.

As a result of that meeting, gag grouper closed in Gulf state waters on June 1.

In state and federal Atlantic waters (including Monroe County), the recreational season is open through Jan. 1, 2012.

Federal fisheries managers are working to put new management guidelines in place to rebuild the population of gag grouper, which is considered to be overfished and undergoing overfishing in Gulf waters. Temporary changes in 2011 federal management efforts also included a year-long gag grouper recreational harvest closure in Gulf of Mexico federal waters (beyond nine nautical miles from shore) with the exception of the Sept. 16 through Nov. 15 open season.

At the Nov. 16 FWC meeting in Key Largo, Commissioners will consider approving more proposed measures affecting gag grouper in Gulf state waters to continue becoming consistent with federal management efforts.

More information on Gulf gag grouper and upcoming rule changes the available online at MyFWC.com/Commission by clicking on “Commission Meetings” and “Agenda.”