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Modifications to the Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack Recreational Fishing Year and Fixed Closed Season

March 28, 2018

FB18-021 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin; For More Information, Contact: Kelli O'Donnell, (727) 824-5305, Kelli.Odonnell@noaa.gov


Key Message:

NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule modifying the greater amberjack recreational fishing year and fixed closed season in the Gulf of Mexico.  Recreational fishing for greater amberjack will be open May 1-31, 2018.


When This Rule Will Take Effect:

  • Regulations will be effective April 30, 2018. 


What This Means:

  • The greater amberjack recreational fishing year will be August 1 through July 31 (see table below).
  • The greater amberjack recreational fixed closed season will be November 1 through April 30 and June 1 through July 31.
  • Recreational fishing will be open August through October and in May.
  • Therefore, the greater amberjack recreational sector will open on May 1, 2018.

Fishing Year and Fixed Closed Seasons

August - October November - April


June - July

Open Closed



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why is the recreational fishing year changing?

  • The change in fishing year is expected to improve recreational fishermen’s access to greater amberjack.
  • It is expected to provide an opportunity to harvest this species when other targeted reef fish species are prohibited from harvest (i.e. fall opening).


Why is the recreational fixed closed season changing?

  • The recreational fixed closed season was January 1 through June 30.  The intent of this closure for 2018 was to provide the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council more time to consider the most appropriate recreational closed season.
  • The new fixed closed season of November 1 through April 30 and June 1 through July 31 is expected to protect the greater amberjack population during peak spawning and still allow for spring (May) and fall (August through October) recreational harvest.


Where can I find more information on this rule?

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

By Mail: Kelli O’Donnell
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505
By FAX: (727) 824-5308
By Phone: (727) 824-5305


NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.

Text alerts you may receive include:

  • Immediate fishery openings and closures
  • Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly

Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text CARIBFISH to 888777


Other contacts:
Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707
           Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750 


Join us every other Friday on NOAA Fish Instagram for Rec Fish Friday!

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 12, 2019