Several grouper closures start Jan. 1 in Gulf and Atlantic waters

By Amana Nalley, FWC

Gag grouper will close to recreational harvest in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters Jan. 1, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The same day, several species of grouper also will close to recreational and commercial harvest in Atlantic Ocean state water and all state water off Monroe County. The Atlantic seasonal closure includes gag, black, red, yellowmouth, and yellowfin grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby.

A similar closure will occur in Atlantic federal waters.  

Anglers aboard the Suzie Q with Capt. Casey Godwin show off a 33.6-pound gag grouper they caught near Destin during the Summer Slam Tournament at the Boathouse Oyster Bar. Starting Jan. 1 gag grouper will be closed.

For gag grouper, state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties will reopen to harvest April 1 through June 30 and Sept. 1 through Dec. 3, 2021. All other Gulf state waters (except waters off Monroe County, which follows the Atlantic state season) and all Gulf federal waters will reopen June 1 through Dec. 31.

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In the Atlantic and state waters of Monroe County, the grouper closure ends April 30 and  will reopen May 1.

Grouper information, including Atlantic and Gulf grouper regulations, is available online. Go to and select “Saltwater Fishing” then “Recreational Regulations” and “Groupers.”