Gag grouper recreational harvest closing in 4-county Gulf region

Gag grouper recreational harvest will close in state waters off the coasts of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties on July 1, with the last day of harvest June 30. The season will reopen off these waters Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

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, 2019. Monroe County is also excluded from this season because it follows the Atlantic season for gag grouper.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Anglers targeting gag grouper and several other reef fish species from a private vessel must have Gulf Reef Fish Angler on their license. Learn more at by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Reef Fish Survey.”

For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit must have Gulf Reef Fish Charter added to their license. This can be done at no cost at your local tax collector’s office. Visit for more information.

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.

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