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Gulf gray triggerfish recreational season conservation measure approved

The gray triggerfish recreational season will remain closed Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017, in Gulf state waters in response to an announcement that the 2016 federal gray triggerfish quota was exceeded and that federal waters will be closed through Dec. 31, 2017.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved this change at the Nov. 17 meeting in St. Petersburg. However, the Commission will consider a potential limited gray triggerfish season for fall 2017 at an upcoming meeting in an effort to provide fishing opportunities to Gulf anglers.

“There is a lot of value we can gain by giving our stakeholders the opportunity to talk to us and our staff about what they are seeing on the water,” said Commissioner Chuck Roberts. “By revisiting the discussion about a limited season in 2017, we can use both stakeholder input and updated data to make an informed decision.”

Gray triggerfish is overfished. When the federal gray triggerfish quota is exceeded, federal rules require the excess harvest to be deducted from the quota used to set the following year’s season. The state waters closure will help avoid a quota overage in 2017.

To learn more about gray triggerfish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”