Thursday is the last day this year for anglers to land a triggerfish.
“Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 17,” according to a news release from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
Triggerfish opened up earlier this year on March 1 with a one fish per angler bag limit and stayed open until the end of May. The fishery was closed in June and July with hopes of a fall season.
On Aug. 1, triggerfish opened back up with a one fish bag limit.
However, word came down over the weekend that triggerfish would again be closing.
“The 2018 recreational annual catch target is 217,000 pounds. Data indicates that recreational harvest of gray triggerfish has met the annual catch limit,” according to the release. “In accordance with the regulations, NOAA Fisheries must close a fishery when the annual catch target has been met. This closure is needed to prevent overfishing of this species.”
With the closure it also ends of all hopes of being able to add triggerfish to the lineup of species in the 70th annual Destin Fishing Rodeo in October.
When triggerfish opened up a couple of weeks ago, the Rodeo looked at possibly adding triggerfish to the daily board if they were still available to catch in October.
“It’s disappointing,” said Rodeo Chairman John Brashears. “Having done without triggerfish all last year and such a short season this year, it’s just disappointing.
“Fortunately, we didn’t plan on it (being on the overall leaderboard), so we don’t have to scramble here at the last minute," he added.
The last time triggerfish was available to catch in October for the Rodeo was 2013.