Red snapper, gag grouper opens; amberjack, triggerfish close

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

From staff reports

June 1 marks the opening and closure for a few of our local fish seasons.

Red snapper opens today in federal waters. For the federally permitted for-hire vessels, the season is open until July 16. As for the private recreational anglers, they have until June 9 to fish in federal waters that go from nine nautical miles and beyond.

However, the private boat anglers have a state season for red snapper that began in early May. It is open Saturdays and Sundays starting May 7; continuously May 28 through July 10; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and on Labor Day.

The limit is two per person and they must measure 16 inches to keep.

Also starting June 1 anglers will be able to keep gag grouper.

The state and federal rules for gag grouper are the same. It opens today and remains open through Dec. 31, excluding state waters off Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties. The size limit has changed from 22 inches to 24 inches.

Fisheries that are closed as of today are amberjack and triggerfish.

The recreational seasons for greater amberjack and gray triggerfish close annually from June 1 through July 31.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries management will review the recreational landings for both species and compare them against their respective annual catch targets to determine if either recreational season will reopen on Aug. 1, 2016, at 12:01 a.m., local time, as scheduled.

During the closure, harvest of both the greater amberjack and gray triggerfish is prohibited. The closure applies in both state and federal waters for vessels that have a valid Gulf of Mexico reef fish charter/headboat permit.