Gulf of Mexico Fishing Seasonal Closures

Commercial quota, fishing year, seasonal closures and current status of some Gulf of Mexico species. Species not listed do not currently have seasonal closures or quotas.

 

Species or species group Commercial Recreational
Seasonal closure
Seasonal closure
Red Snapper (For-Hire) None Jan 1  - May 31;
When quota is met through December 31

Currently CLOSED (5)
Red Snapper (Private) None Jan 1  - May 31;
When quota is met through December 31
CURRENTLY CLOSED (5)
Gag None Jan 1 - May 31 (1)
When quota is met through December 31
Currently CLOSED
Red Grouper(4) None Feb 1-Mar 31 (3)
When quota is met through December 31

Currently OPEN
Other Shallow-water Grouper (2)(4) None Feb 1-Mar 31 (3)
When quota is met through December 31

Currently OPEN
Greater Amberjack Mar 1-May 31;
or if quota is met

OPEN
January 1 - June 30
June 1-July 31
When quota is met through December 31

Currently OPEN (6)
Gray Triggerfish June 1 - July 31;
or if quota is met

OPEN
January 1 - end of February
June 1-July 31
Quota Met

Currently OPEN (6)
King Mackerel Southern Zone (Gillnet) July 1-MLK Jr. Day;
or if quota is met

Currently CLOSED
n/a

(1) Open June 1-December 31, each year

(2) Other Shallow-water Groupers include black grouper, yellowmouth grouper, scamp, and yellowfin grouper.

(3) This closure occurs in the portion of the Gulf EEZ seaward of coordinates defined in the Federal regulations at paragraph (d) of  § 622.34, Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef fish.  These coordinates approximate the 20-fathom depth contour.

(4) Currently managed under an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program. Anyone commercially fishing for this species must possess IFQ allocation and follow established protocols.

(5) NOAA fisheries will announce the Federal recreational season for red snapper by the private angling and for-hire sector in the Gulf of Mexico later in 2018.

(6) Gray triggerfish and greater amberjack will open January 1, 2018. Gray triggerifsh will close 12:01 a.m. on January 16, 2018, and reopen March 1, 2018. Greater amberjack will close 12:01 a.m. January 27, 2018, NOAA fisheries will publish a Fishery Bulletin announcing the opening dates later in 2018.

Recreational Quota Closure Analysis

Please Note: This summary is intended to provide appropriate information to fishers about regulations and the sustainable use of marine fishery resources in the Gulf of Mexico. This summary is for general information purposes. Fishery Regulations are subject to changes. For more information on fishery regulations consult the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 622 or the NOAA Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office Fishery Regulation website.

This page provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this information and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.