Additional weekend added to Gulf gray triggerfish fall state season due to Hurricane Irma

The gray triggerfish recreational season in Gulf state waters will be open an additional weekend this October to provide anglers with fishing opportunities that were missed due to Hurricane Irma impacts earlier in the season. Gray triggerfish will open in Gulf of Mexico state waters for recreational harvest Oct. 21 and 22, in addition to previously scheduled dates of Oct. 7 and 8, and Oct. 14 and 15.

“This additional weekend gives Florida’s anglers and the more than 100,000 men and women who work in the recreational saltwater fishing industry the opportunity to make up for lost time on the water and lost wages due to Hurricane Irma,” said Nick Wiley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) executive director. “The FWC is glad to be able to provide opportunities where we can during this time of recovery, and we hope that Florida’s first responders, law enforcement officers, linemen and electric utility workers will have the opportunity to enjoy this and Florida’s many other saltwater fishing experiences license-free in the upcoming year.”

Gov. Rick Scott recently announced that all Florida law enforcement officers, first responders, linemen and electric utility workers will be able to enjoy license-free freshwater and saltwater fishing through June 30, 2018. Learn more at MyFWC.com/License by clicking on “Hurricane Irma Governor Recognition” on the right.

During this state season opening, the Gulf state waters minimum size limit is 14 inches fork length and the daily bag limit is two per person, per day.

The season is closed in Gulf federal waters for 2017. Several changes to gray triggerfish management are pending for Gulf state and federal waters, and could affect harvest starting in 2018. These pending management changes include:

  • Creating a January through February annual recreational closure in addition to the current June through July annual spawning closure.
  • Decreasing the recreational daily bag limit from two to one fish per person.
  • Increasing the recreational size limit from 14 to 15 inches fork length.

These changes will not be in effect during the 2017 state season opening, but should help maintain fishing opportunities for gray triggerfish in state and federal waters for 2018 and beyond.

More information about Gulf gray triggerfish regulations may be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”