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 OPEN (5)
Red Snapper (Private) None

Jan 1  - May 31;
When quota is met through December 31

Under state management through exempted fishing permits for
2018 and 2019
SEE Fishery Bulletin FB18-026

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

CLOSED

November 1 - April 30 and June 1 - July 31

When quota is met through July 31

Currently CLOSED (5)

Gray Triggerfish June 1 - July 31;
or if quota is met

CLOSED
January 1 - end of February
June 1-July 31
When quota is met through December 31

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

Currently OPEN
n/a
Hogfish None January 1 - April 30
November 1 December 31

Currently OPEN

(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) As of April 30, 2018 the recreational Greater Amberjack fishing year was modified to be August 1 through July 31 and the fixed closed season was modified to be November 1 through April 30 and June 1 through July 31. As such, the 2018 quota is distributed across the 2017-2018 fishing year, the 2019 quota is distributed across the 2018-2019 fishing year, and the 2020 and beyond quota will be distributed for each subsequent fishing year, which now begins on August 1.

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.