Boundary Maps and Management Zones
Florida state waters are from shore to 3 nautical miles on the Atlantic and from shore to 9 nautical miles on the Gulf. In most places, federal waters extend from where state waters end out to about 200 nautical miles or to where other country's waters begin.
The maps below detail important fishing boundaries and management zones.
State and federal regulations require all commercial fishers and recreational anglers fishing for any reef fish species to have and use certain gear. In state waters, reef fish species include groupers, snappers, amberjacks, gray triggerfish, red porgy, sea bass, hogfish and tilefish. Learn more.
Several species of Atlantic grouper (red, black, yellowfin, yellowmouth, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby and tiger) are closed Jan. 1 - April 30 in all state and federal waters of the Atlantic including all state waters off Monroe County (Atlantic and Gulf sides). During this closure, anglers can harvest grouper in open federal waters of the Gulf and return to port in Monroe County by traveling through closed state waters of the Gulf as long as the vessel proceeds directly to port without stopping to fish.
St. Joseph Bay and Gulf County: Aug. 16-Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.
Franklin County through northwestern Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark and St. Marks): July 1 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County to Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County.
Fenholloway through Suwannee Rivers Zone (including Keaton Beach and the Steinhatchee area): June 15 through Labor Day. This region includes all state waters east of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County and north of Alligator Pass daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County. This area has a lowered bag limit June 15-30. See bag limit section for more.
Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties (including Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa): July 1 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters south of Alligator Pass daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County and north of the Hernando – Pasco county line.
- Please do not discard scallop shells in inshore waters commonly used for recreational activities such as the Homosassa River or Crystal River. Piles of discarded scallop shells can create hazards for swimmers and damage seagrass habitat. Scallop shells can be discarded in a trash receptacle or in larger bodies of water where they are more likely to disperse.
Pasco County: Opens third Friday in July and continues 10 days. This region includes all state waters south of the Hernando – Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse in northern Pinellas County, and includes all waters of the Anclote River.
In an effort to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps, the FWC has established regional blue crab trap closures. These six regional closures last up to 10 days and prohibit recreational and commercial harvest of blue crabs with traps in these areas. The closures alternate coasts every year with closures on the east coast of Florida occurring during the even numbered years and closures on the west coast occurring on the odd years.
Even Year Closures
- All waters of the St. Johns River system its associated lakes and tributaries from west of the St. Johns River's intersection with the Intercoastal Canal through and including Lake Helen of Blazes from Jan. 16-25
- All waters from the Georgia/Florida state line, excluding the St. Johns River system, south through Volusia County from Aug. 20-29
- All waters of Brevard through Palm Beach counties, excluding the St. Johns River system, from Aug. 10-19
Odd Year Closures
- All waters of Franklin County to the Florida/Alabama state line however, excluding all waters of the Ochlockonee River and Bay, from Jan. 5-14
- All waters of Broward through Pasco Counties from July 10-19
- All waters of Hernando through Wakulla counties including all waters of the Ochlockonee River and Bay from July 20-29
Gag grouper is open in the Gulf state waters June 1-Dec. 31 (excluding Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor, Jefferson and Monroe counties); April 1 - June 30 and Sept. 1 - Dec. 31 in state waters off of Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties; and May 1-Dec. 31 in Atlantic state and federal waters.
Learn more about permit regulations within the Special Permit Zone.
The Special Permit Zone includes state and federal waters south of Cape Florida in the Atlantic and south of Cape Sable in the Gulf.
Learn more about red drum regulations.
Red drum management zones:
- Northwest: Escambia through Fred Howard Park Causeway near Pasco County
- South: Fred Howard Park Causeway through Monroe County (west coast) and Miami-Dade through Volusia counties (east coast)
- Northeast: Flagler through Nassau counties
Snook is managed by two regions in Florida: Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (including Monroe County and Everglades National Park). Regulations apply in state and adjacent federal waters. A snook permit is required if not exempt.
Learn more about spotted seatrout regulations.
State and federal waters off Florida
- Western Panhandle: Escambia County through the portions of Gulf County west of longitude 85 degrees, 13.76 minutes but NOT including Indian Pass/Indian Lagoon.
- Big Bend: Remaining portion of Gulf County plus Indian Lagoon, and Franklin County through Fred Howard Park Causeway in Pinellas County near the Pasco County line.
- South: Fred Howard Park Causeway in Pinellas County near the Pasco County line through Broward County.
- Central East: Palm Beach through Volusia counties.
- Northeast: Flagler through Nassau counties.
The Weakfish Management Zone includes state waters from the Florida-Georgia line to the southernmost tip of Amelia Island, the inland waters of Nassau County and the St. Marys River and its tributaries east of Highway 17, north of State Highway 200A and north of the Shave Bridge on the Amelia River.
Fishing is prohibited within the marked boundaries near Western Dry Rocks from April 1 – July 31. Learn more.