Triggerfish season, new flounder regulations start March 1

Gray triggerfish
Gray triggerfish

The recreational gray triggerfish season reopens to harvest in Gulf state and federal waters March 1 and will remain open through May 31. It will close 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 (excluding Monroe County) 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.” Triggerfish regulations are at the same website under the “Reef Fish” tab. 

Also starting on March 1, the following changes will go into effect for flounder:

– Extension of all Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (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-Oct. 14, and 50 fish from Oct. 15-Nov. 30

– Modifying the incidental bycatch limit for commercial harvesters using non-allowable gear from 50 pounds/trip to 50 fish/trip

– Creating a federal waters trawl bycatch limit of 150 fish/trip from Dec. 1-Oct. 14, and 50 fish/trip from Oct. 15-Nov. 30

The commission approved these changes at its December 2020 meeting because a stock status update suggested that the flounder 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 regulatory changes.

Learn more about flounder regulations here.

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