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Western Dry Rocks

The regulations below are specific to Western Dry Rocks, located approximately 10 miles SW of Key West. 


Western Dry Rocks map

GPS Coordinates for Western Dry Rocks

Point Latitude Longitude
1 24°26.217’N 81°57.007’W
2 24°25.676’N 81°57.002’W
3 24°25.686’N 81°55.489’W
4 24°26.227’N 81°55.493’W

Effective April 1, 2021, regulation changes will go into effect at Western Dry Rocks that prohibit fishing from April 1 – July 31. These changes are aimed at providing benefits for multiple recreationally and commercially important species that aggregate to spawn at Western Dry Rocks, including permit, mutton snapper, gray snapper, and yellowtail snapper. The Commission also adopted a seven-year sunset provision, which primarily will be used as a way to ensure the Commission can revisit this closure and discuss future management in this area.

New Regulations effective April 1, 2021

Fishing is prohibited within the marked boundaries near Western Dry Rocks from April 1 – July 31. 

Note:  Fish may be possessed aboard a vessel, provided such vessel is in continuous transit through Western Dry Rocks, fishing gear is appropriately stowed, and such resources are stowed in a cabin, locker, or similar storage area prior to entering and during transit through Western Dry Rocks.


permit spawning

To increase the robustness of the spawning aggregations at WDR, therefore increasing recruitment, and improving resiliency in several important Florida Keys and south Florida fisheries.

FWC staff will provide the Commission with a 3-year check-in and a 5-year update on research and monitoring at Western Dry Rocks.

Find out more about the research being conducted at Western Dry Rocks.

New regulations at Western Dry Rocks

Learn more about new regulations going into effect April 1, 2021, in a 1-square-mile area near Western Dry Rocks, which is 10 nautical miles SW of Key West.