Gulf Stock Characteristics

Current Federal Regulations:

Quota: 

    • Combined stock ACL black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper – 710,000 pounds
    • Combined Commercial ACL for black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper – 547,000 pounds
    • Combined Commercial quota for black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper – 525,000 pounds

Recreational:

    • Season:  Open year-round. If landings reach the stock ACL in a year then during the following year if landings are projected to reach the stock ACL then harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year. Recreational fishing for red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper is closed from February 1- March 31 when fishing beyond the 20 fathom break.
    • Minimum Size Limit:  16 inches total length
    • Bag Limit: 4 per person within the 4-grouper aggregate bag limit which includes gag, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, yellowedge grouper, snowy grouper, speckled hind, and warsaw. No grouper may be retained by the captain or crew of a vessel operating as a charter vessel or headboat.
    • Permit/License:  State issued recreational license or Federal charter/headboat permit for reef fish
    • Gear:  Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.

Commercial:

    • Season: Scamp is managed under an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. Anyone commercially fishing for scamp must possess allocation and follow established protocols.
    • Minimum Size Limit:  16 inches total length
    • Permit:  Commercial vessel permit for reef fish is required. Additionally, an eastern Gulf reef fish bottom longline endorsement required to use bottom longline for Gulf reef fish in the federal waters east of 85°30′ longitude.
    • Gear:  Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.

Shallow-water Grouper Closure (Map of the 20-fathom break)

Title 50 CFR: Wildlife and Fisheries – PART 622 FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC
Subpart B – Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico – §622.34 Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef fish

(d) Seasonal closure of the recreational sector for shallow-water grouper (SWG). The recreational sector for SWG, in or from the Gulf EEZ, is closed each year from February 1 through March 31, in the portion of the Gulf EEZ seaward of rhumb lines connecting, in order, the points in the following table. During the closure, the bag and possession limit for SWG in or from the Gulf EEZ seaward of the following rhumb lines is zero.

Description:

Life History and Distribution:

Landings Summary