News: 

Federal waters early closure: All federal waters south of Cape Sable in the Gulf, around the tip of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast closed to recreational and commercial hogfish harvest  Aug. 24.

Recreational harvest of hogfish in state waters remains open.

Commercial harvest of hogfish closed Aug. 24 in both state and federal waters from Cape Sable in the Gulf, around the tip of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast.

See below for other changes that go into effect Aug. 24 in state waters.

State waters: The FWC approved several management changes to hogfish at the November Commission meeting in St. Petersburg. These changes will go into effect in on Aug. 24, 2017. Approved changes include:

  • A new state management boundary between the Keys/east Florida and Gulf hogfish stocks will be at 25 degrees 9 minutes north latitude (a line due west of Cape Sable, which is on the Gulf side of Florida). Once effective, hogfish north of Cape Sable will be managed as Gulf hogfish, and hogfish south of that line, around the tip of Florida and up the Atlantic coast, will be managed as Atlantic hogfish. 
  • Lowering the Atlantic recreational daily bag limit from five to one fish per harvester.
  • Setting an Atlantic recreational harvest season of May 1 through Oct. 31.
  • Increasing the Atlantic recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 16 inches fork length.
  • Increasing the Gulf recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 14 inches fork length.
  • Setting the minimum importation and sale size limit to 14 inches fork length statewide.

Learn more about these changes in state waters.

Learn more about federal changes. External Website

Hogfish -map

SaltMeasureHogfish.jpg

Hogfish: Lachnolaimus maximus

 Florida Regulations: 

Regulations Gulf State WatersAtlantic State Waters (includes all state and federal waters south of Cape Sable, including the Florida Keys)
Minimum Size Limit

14" fork 

16" fork 

 Daily Bag Limit  5 per harvester 

1 per harvester

Effective Aug. 24, 2017: Minimum importation and sale size limit: 14" FL state wide

State Waters Harvest Seasons 

Gulf Season:  Open year around (closures only if annual catch limit is met or exceeded)

Atlantic state season: Open May 1-Oct. 31. 

Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net

 Federal waters:

12" FL; 5 per person per day

Atlantic federal waters: Closed. All federal waters south of Cape Sable in the Gulf, around the tip of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast closed to recreational and commercial hogfish harvest starting Aug. 24. 

NEW: The following changes will go into effect Aug. 24, 2017:

  • For persons harvesting hogfish in Gulf federal waters south of Cape Sable and in all Atlantic federal waters, new regulations include: a 16-inch minimum size limit, a 25-lb. commercial trip limit, a 1-fish/person recreational bag limit, and a May-October recreational season. NEW: Recreational and commercial season closing Aug. 24 in all Atlantic federal waters, including waters south of Cape Sable. Learn more. External Website
  • For persons harvesting hogfish in Gulf federal waters north of Cape Sable, new regulations include a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Habitat and Fishing Tips:

Hogfish are a reef species that inhabit rocky bottoms, ledges and reefs throughout Florida’s off-shore waters. They are easily identified by their long, hog-like snout, which allows them to feed on bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans. Because they tend to root in the sediment in search of small prey, they are not commonly caught on hook and line. Hogfish are primarily harvested by spearfishing, and they are considered to be of excellent food quality.    

 

Florida Rule  icon_external.png

Gulf Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png

Atlantic Federal Waters Rules icon_external.png

 

State Record:  19 lb 8 oz, caught in Daytona Beach

 


Image Credit:Diane Rome Peebles



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