Do you enjoy hunting Lionfish? What if you could hunt goliath grouper?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants your input on a final rule proposal that, if approved at the March 2022 Commission meeting, would allow a limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper in Florida state waters.
This proposal includes a unique opportunity for harvest through a lottery draw while enacting area and seasonal closures, size and gear restrictions, and post-harvest requirements. This limited harvest would allow users additional access to this species and provide researchers with needed biological data while allowing the population to continue rebuilding and excluding harvest from areas of heavy dive eco-tourism. Based on Commissioner’s direction at the October 2021 Commission Meeting, updates to the draft proposal have been incorporated, including new proposed rules to reduce impacts of catch-and-release fishing on goliath grouper spawning aggregations in state waters.
Those interested in participating may also contact the Division of Marine Fisheries Management at (850) 487-0554.
Have you ever dove with the goliaths? You can see them off, Jupiter. They migrate there during September and October. We dive with them, and you can see betweem eight and twenty or so.