Gulf Stock Characteristics

Current Federal Regulations:

Quota: 

    • Stock ACL – 8,550,000 pounds
    • Commercial – 2,740,000 pounds
    • Recreational – 5,810,000 pounds

Allocation: 

    • 32% commercial
    • 68% recreational

Recreational:

Sale of recreational bag limit of king mackerel permitted when harvested on board a vessel operating as a for-hire vessel that possesses both Federal charter/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagics and commercial permit for king mackerel.

Commercial:

    • Minimum Size: 24 inches fork length except a vessel fishing under a quota for king mackerel may possess no more than 5%, by weight, of undersized king mackerel. Cut-off (damaged) king mackerel that comply with minimum size limits and trip limits may be possessed on vessels operating under trip limits and sold. A maximum of five additional cut-off king mackerel not subject to size or trip limits may be possessed and offloaded but may not be sold.
    • Permit:  Commercial vessel permit for Spanish mackerel is required. A king mackerel gillnet permit is also required for participation in the Southern Zone Gillnet fishery.
    • Gear: hook and line gear and run-around gillnet with mesh no smaller than 4.75 inches permit in the southern zone. Incidental catch allowances for purse sein and shark gillnet.

Southern Zone:

Gillnet
    • Quota – 575,400 pounds
    • Season – opens at 6:00 a.m. the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday. Open the first weekend and remains open on weekdays only until the quota is met.
    • Trip limit – 45,000 pounds
Hook and Line
    • Quota – 575,400 pounds
    • Season – July 1 – June 30. If landings reach the quota, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.
    • Trip limit – 1,250

Northern Zone:

    • Quota – 493,200 pounds
    • Season – October 1 – September 30. If landings reach the quota, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.
    • Trip limit – 1,250 pounds

Western Zone:

    • Quota – 1,096,000 pounds
    • Season – July 1 – June 30. If landings reach the quota, harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.
    • Trip Limit – 3,000 pounds

A vessel with a valid commercial king mackerel permit may transit through areas closed to harvest of king mackerel with king mackerel onboard if fishing gear is properly stowed.

Description:

Life History and Distribution:

Landings Summary