Published: Jan 26, 2011 5:34 PM EST
Updated: Jan 26, 2011 2:35 PM EST

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advises anglers that the recreational harvest of all shallow-water groupers (gag, black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind) is prohibited from Feb. 1 through March 31 in all Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters off Florida, except in all waters of Monroe County.

Closing the recreational harvest of all Gulf shallow-water grouper species for two months during the spawning season is designed to reduce overfishing of Gulf gag grouper by limiting the unintended catch and possible mortality of gag grouper to help rebuild its populations and achieve larger annual harvests in the future for this important species.  Recreational gag grouper fishing has been closed in Gulf federal waters since Jan. 1.

More information regarding grouper fishing regulations, including the current shallow-water grouper closure in Atlantic and

Monroe County waters, is available online at MyFWC.com/Rules (click on “Fishing – Saltwater”).