red drum

Scientific Name

Sciaenops ocellatus

Common Names

Redfish, channel bass, puppy drum,

spottail bass, simply red

Stock Assessment


Recreational Regulations

Federal Regulations

  • Prohibited

  • Minimum Size: None
  • Notes: Harvest and possession prohibited.

Commercial Regulations


Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) Management Profile for Gulf of Mexico Red Drum

Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) occur from northern Mexico all along the Gulf Coast, around peninsular Florida and up to Massachusetts and are one of the largest and most popular nearshore fisheries in the southeastern United States. Red Drum support both recreational and commercial fisheries throughout much of its geographic range; however, due to severe overfishing in the 1980s, sale of wild Red Drum are now prohibited in most of the Gulf states. In the U.S., Red Drum stocks are generally split for management purposes between the Gulf and the Atlantic Coast. Red Drum in the Gulf of Mexico are managed by NOAA and the Secretary of Commerce through the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council under the Red Drum Fishery Management Plan (FMP) which was implemented in 1986 and prohibited any directed commercial harvest from the EEZ (GMFMC 1986).

Download the PDF here.

At the October 2018 meeting of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, the State-Federal Fisheries Management Committee directed Commission staff to begin development of a Management Profile for Gulf of Mexico Red Drum. The Red Drum Technical Task Force was established in the Spring of 2019 and included representation from each of the Gulf states’ marine resource agencies and others as needed. The management profile was completed in late 2022 and made available in January of 2023 on the Commission’s webpage.