get ready for gag season
Stock up on hooks, line and sinker — gag grouper season opens Tuesday in most state and all federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But if you live in Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties, hang up your grouper sticks. The gag season closes in state waters off your coast. The gag season will remain open in state waters (except in those previously mentioned areas) through Dec. 3.
State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties are open from April 1 through Monday. The four-county region includes all waters of Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, including those in Gulf County, and all waters of the Steinhatchee River, including those in Dixie County. Monroe County is excluded from this season because it follows the Atlantic season for gag grouper.
In state and federal Gulf waters, the minimum limit for gag is 22 inches. The daily bag limit is two gags per person within the four-fish grouper aggregate limit.
Don't forget your dive flag
State law requires that a vessel display a divers-down flag (red with a white diagonal stripe), whenever divers or snorkelers are in the water. The flag must be at least 20 by 24 inches on a boat; at least 12 by 12 inches if towed on a float by the diver or snorkeler. In open waters, vessels must make an effort to stay 300 feet from a divers-down flag. In a river, channel or inlet the distance is 100 feet. Vessels may operate within those distances, but at idle speed.
Send news to Terry Tomalin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (727) 893-8808.
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