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July 25, 2013

Triggerfish, Amberjack Open in Gulf on Aug. 1

New triggerfish bag and trip limits affect Gulf anglers in federal waters.

Gray triggerfish and greater amberjack seasons open in Gulf of Mexico federal waters starting Aug. 1.

The gray triggerfish season closed on June 10 this year, when new management measures went into effect. In future years, it will close on June 1. Recreational take of greater amberjack is closed from June 1 to July 31 this year.

When the gray triggerfish season reopens, new bag and trip limits will affect Gulf federal waters. The new recreational bag limit is two fish per person per day. Minimum size limit for gray triggerfish in Gulf federal waters is 14 inches fork length (which is measured from the tip of the fish’s closed mouth to the center of the forked tail).

Gray triggerfish have a unique spawning behavior that makes them vulnerable during the peak spawning season, usually during June and July. Male triggerfish coax females to nesting areas, where they all care for and guard their eggs after spawning. Closing gray triggerfish during their peak spawning time and implementing a recreational bag limit helps the future gray triggerfish population.

The minimum size limit for greater amberjack in Gulf federal waters is 30 inches fork length. Recreational anglers may take one greater amberjack per person per day.

Reef-fish gear rules apply when fishing for gray triggerfish and greater amberjack. In all Gulf waters, this means anglers must use circle hooks, and have a dehooking device and a venting tool on their vessel. See complete seasons and size limits for Gulf species at the Gulf Council website.