Several species of grouper, including black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind, will close to recreational harvest from Feb. 1 through March 31 in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, including those around Gasparilla Island.
Gag grouper has a separate season and is already closed to harvest. A proposed 2013 gag grouper season in state waters will be discussed at the February Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting in Orlando.
The two-month recreational harvest closure is to help rebuild the gag grouper fishery. Gag grouper spawn during February and March so limiting the harvest of other grouper helps reduce the number of gag grouper caught unintentionally.