Florida Flounder Recreational Harvest Season Closes October 15


Florida Flounder Recreational Harvest Season Closes October 15

Starting October 15th recreational harvest of flounder will be closed in all Florida waters, this is both state and federal waters. This closure covers the three main species of flounder in Florida. The recreational harvest of Florida flounder will close starting October 15 and remain closed through November 30, and then reopen on December 1st. The closure applies to all legal ways of catching flounder; be it gigging, seine nets, cast nets, or hook and line. This is to help protect vulnerable prespawn flounder as they gather before group spawning.

Florida flounder is a broad term that covers the three different species of flounder, the gulf flounder (Paralichthys albigutta), southern flounder (P. lethostigma), and summer flounder (P. dentatis).  Even though the gulf flounder name implies that it lives in the Gulf of Mexico, it can be caught in waters around the state of Florida. All three of the main Florida Flounder species fall under the same size limit regulation of 14″ total length and have the same daily recreational limit of 5 per person per day.

This annual season closure and other management measures on Florida flounder were approved by the Commission in December 2020. This was due to a sampling of the stock showing a stock status update that suggested a declining trend in the flounder stocks. And points to likely overfishing on the Atlantic coast of Florida. The recreational season closure will provide some additional protection to vulnerable flounder during their pre-spawn aggregations. The other stocks of flounder in the south Atlantic and Gulf have also reported a decline in flounder populations and will make their own regulations changes in due time in response. These announcements will be made at other meetings by FWC.

To learn more about flounder regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Marine, click “Recreational Regulations”, and select “Flounder”.

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Fishing Writer for AllOutdoor.com An avid angler since I was little, based out of the South East United States.

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