Fishing Season Calendar & Closures

With 55 species to manage in just the snapper grouper complex alone, it can be difficult to keep track of when fishing is open or closed for certain species. Many species are managed using seasonal closures to protect spawning aggregations of fish. Also, when a fishery reaches the annual catch limit, the fishery will close.The charts and information below should help fishermen keep up to date on the fishing seasons and the dates when fisheries close.

Fishing Season Calendars: 

The calendars below list the fishing season for commonly caught species in the South Atlantic.

Note that the fishing season will close once a species has met the Annual Catch Limit. For up-to-date regulations, download the Council's mobile app, SA Fishing Regulations (Apple or Android) and visit the Regulations by Species page.

Commercial Fishing Season Calendar (pdf) (Revised 5/31/17)

Recreational Fishing Season Calendar (pdf) (Revised 3/24/17)

Current Fishery Closures - COMMERCIAL:

Shallow-water grouper complex, effective January 1, 2017. The fishery will reopen May 1, 2017. Species include red grouper, black grouper, scamp grouper, gag grouper, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper.

Red snapper, no possession or harvest is allowed.

Speckled hind, no possession or harvest is allowed.

Warsaw grouper, no possession or harvest is allowed.

Spiny lobster, effective April 1, 2017 in Florida. The fishery will reopen August 6, 2017.

Golden tilefish (Longline component), effective May 9, 2017 at 12:01 AM

Blueline tilefish, effective July 18, 2017

Vermilion snapper, effective May 17, 2017 at 12:01 AM

Yellowtail snapper, effective June 3, 2017 at 12:01 AM

Snowy grouper, effective June 22, 2017 at 12:01 AM

Current Fishery Closures - RECREATIONAL:

Cobia Atlantic migratory group (GA through NY), effective January 24, 2017. Recreational harvest will reopen January 1, 2018.

Wreckfish, recreational harvest is prohibited during January 1-June 30, and September 1-December 31 of each year.

Red snapper, no possession or harvest is allowed.

Speckled hind, no possession or harvest is allowed.

Warsaw grouper, no possession or harvest is allowed.

Spiny lobster, effective April 1, 2017 In Florida. The fishery will reopen August 6, 2017.

Keep up-to-date on the latest Fishery Bulletins and Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) for species managed by the Council!

Visit the National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office websites for: