Gag grouper season is open in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since new size restrictions went into effect.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission raised the minimum overall length for gags from 22 to 24 inches during its summer meeting. These rule changes also apply to black grouper.
The recreational harvest season will remain open in both state and federal waters — beyond nine nautical miles from shore — in the Gulf of Mexico until Dec. 31. Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, remains open and will follow state regulations for the Atlantic management region.
Anglers may keep two fish per day, which also counts toward the total aggregate bag limit of four for all species of grouper. That includes red, black, rock hind and scamp.
Two popular species of reef fish, however, are off limits as of Wednesday.
The season for recreational harvest of greater amberjack and gray triggerfish will be closed in both state and federal waters from June 1 until July 31.
Offshore Sailing names new executive director: Offshore Sailing School, which is based in Fort Myers and has academies in seven countries, has named Robert Brooks as its new Director of Operations.
Brooks brings 32 years of sailing experience and is a former world and national champion in Mumm30 and Melges24 classes, respectively.
About J. Scott Butherus
Multimedia journalist J. Scott Butherus is an award-winning sports writer and videographer and slightly above-mediocre photographer who covers spring training for the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, the Fort Myers Miracle, outdoors and fishing, PrepZone, and Florida Gulf Coast University. In his spare time, he wrestles sharks and is a career .827 hitter for the company softball team.