FWC approves changes to amberjack season

Special to The Log
This amberjack was caught aboard the New Florida Girl's American Spirit in March of this year before the season closed in April. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

At its December meeting in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set the greater amberjack recreational season in Gulf state waters to open May 1-31 and Aug. 1-Oct. 31. This change is similar to pending changes in Gulf federal waters.

Greater amberjack is overfished and undergoing overfishing, and the season has closed increasingly early in recent years due to federal quotas being met or exceeded. This new season structure will optimize recreational fishing opportunities in both the spring and fall while minimizing harvest during the spawning season, helping to rebuild the stock.

Greater amberjack is currently closed to recreational harvest in Gulf state and federal waters. State waters will remain closed through April 30, 2018.

This year, the greater amberjack season closed early due to overfishing on April 22.

For more information or to view the presentations given at the commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”

This article was provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.