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Goliath Grouper Open and Closed Areas

A Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit is a type of limited entry permit required to participate in the Goliath Grouper Harvest Program.

Each successful applicant will receive a goliath grouper harvest permit with a designated harvest area, and a physical tag, authorizing the harvest of one goliath grouper. The goliath grouper harvest period opens on March 1 through May 31.

Applicants who are awarded a Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit will be charged automatically. The permit, tag, and additional information will be mailed to the successful applicant no later than one month prior to the start of the harvest period.

The following information provides further details on specific information regarding these permits.

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Application Dates: October 15-30, 2022

The application period will begin at 10 a.m. eastern on the first day of the application period and run through midnight on the last day.

Cost (All Sales are Final – No Refunds): Credit card information must be submitted with each application. The card provided will be charged the permit fee automatically during the lottery (please see Drawing Results below for more information). Handling fees may also apply.

Application: $10.00 (Charged at time of application)

Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit and tag for verified Florida Residents: $150.00

Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit and tag for Non-Residents: $500.00

Requirements to Apply: Applicants for a recreational goliath grouper harvest permit shall:

  1. Not have received a disposition other than acquittal or dismissal for a violation of any provision of Chapter 369, 379, or 828, F.S., or of a rule of the Commission or of other similar laws or rules in this or any other jurisdiction that relate to hunting or fishing, within a period of 5 years preceding the date of application.
  2. Have timely submitted required harvest reporting for any recreational goliath grouper harvest permits issued to the applicant prior to the current application year.

Applications and Permit Issuance: Applicants may submit one application per category but may only receive one permit. If an applicant is successfully awarded a Category I permit, they will not be included in the Category II random drawing. Permit categories:

  • Category I: Allows harvest in all open areas, including Everglades National Park
  • Category II: Allows harvest in all open areas, excluding Everglades National Park

 

Exemptions: There are no exemptions for the Goliath Grouper Harvest Permits. All persons wishing to participate in the Goliath Harvest Program must have a Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit and tag, including those who are exempt from other permits, such as Lifetime License holders or those under 16 or over 65. Goliath harvest permit holders must also possess a recreational saltwater fishing license. Visit our License Exemptions page to see if you are exempt from the requirement to possess a recreational saltwater fishing license.”

Transferability: Goliath Grouper Harvest Permits are not transferable.

How to Apply: Applicants can apply online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com (sign on and choose “Apply for Limited Entry/Quota Permits”) or at any license agent or tax collector’s office. Applicants may submit an application for both permit categories. Permit categories:

  • Category I: Allows harvest in all open areas, including Everglades National Park
  • Category II: Allows harvest in all open areas, excluding Everglades National Park

A valid credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover) must be included with each application and the card will be charged automatically if the applicant is successful in the drawing.

Importance of Residency at Time of Application: Residency status is established at the time of application and will be used throughout the issuance process. If residency status changes the application must be cancelled and resubmitted with updated residency information (see How to Cancel or Change an Application below) and the application fee will be forfeited. Residents who do not hold a valid Florida driver’s license cannot use the online system to apply as a resident and must instead apply in-person at a license agent or tax collector’s office with alternate proof of residency. 

How to Cancel or Change an Application: Applicants can opt to cancel a submitted application during the open application period. An application may be resubmitted to update residency status, and/or credit or debit card information. To cancel an application, a customer can log into their customer account at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, click “Manage” and then “Cancel” next to the Goliath Grouper application under “Limited Entry Quota Applications.” Once an application is cancelled, a new one may be submitted.

Credit or Debit Card Charging Process: A valid credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover) must be submitted with each application. At the time of the random drawing, beginning with the lowest random number, each card will be processed to verify there are sufficient funds to cover all applicable fees. If sufficient funds cannot be verified the applicant will be marked as unsuccessful, and the drawing will move on to the next random number.

Drawing Results: Drawing results will be posted to customer accounts at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. Note: All sales are final and there will be no refunds available or offered for successful applicants.

How to Get the Permit: Successful applicants who have provided a valid email address will receive a receipt of payment. All successful applicants can expect to receive their Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit and tag no later than one month prior to the start of the harvest period. Applicants should verify the mailing address on file is accurate and up to date to ensure any mailed permits arrive in a timely manner.

Replacement Tags: A person who has been awarded and issued a valid Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit may apply to replace a lost or damaged goliath grouper tag.  To apply for a replacement goliath grouper tag, an applicant must submit a signed and notarized affidavit attesting that the applicant’s goliath grouper tag was lost or damaged.  Such affidavit must include the applicant’s full name, Go Outdoors Florida customer ID (CID), mailing address, an explanation of the circumstances that led to the applicant’s goliath grouper tag becoming lost or damaged, and a statement certifying that the applicant has not harvested a goliath grouper during the applicable harvest period. Affidavits for replacement goliath grouper tags must be submitted to:

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Division of Marine Fisheries Management
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600

A person may not be issued more than one replacement goliath grouper tag for any single harvest period.  Upon issuance of a replacement goliath grouper tag, any previous goliath grouper tag issued to the applicant for the specified harvest period shall be invalid.

Reporting Requirements: A person who harvests a goliath grouper under a Goliath Grouper Harvest Permit must:

a) Report harvest within 24 hours at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, through the Fish|Hunt Florida app on Apple and Android devices, or by calling 888-486-8356.                                                                                 

b) Provide a biological sample of such goliath grouper if required by the terms of the permit.

A person who has been issued a Goliath Harvest Permit and does not harvest a goliath grouper must report that no harvest occurred to the Commission’s harvest reporting system within 24 hours after the assigned harvest period closes. 

Additional Information: Full rule language can be found here.