Several species of grouper, including black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind will close to recreational harvest from Feb. 1 through March 31 in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
According to a news release, gag grouper has a separate season from other Gulf of Mexico grouper and is currently closed to harvest. A proposed 2013 gag grouper season in state waters will be discussed at the February Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in Orlando.
The FWC said the upcoming two-month recreational harvest closure that starts Feb. 1 was put in place to help rebuild the gag grouper fishery. Gag grouper spawn during the February and March closure, so limiting the harvest of other grouper helps reduce the number of gag grouper that are caught unintentionally and die after being released.