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Recreational Harvest of Gray Triggerfish in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico Will Reopen September 1, 2020, and Close on October 26, 2020

August 28, 2020

FB20-053: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin; For more information, contact: Kelli O'Donnell: 727-824-5305, Kelli.Odonnell@noaa.gov



  • Recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) will reopen at 12:01 am, local time, on September 1, 2020, and close at 12:01 am, local time, on October 26, 2020.
  • Recreational harvest will reopen in the Gulf for the 2021 fishing season at 12:01 am, local time, on March 1, 2021, when the January-February seasonal closure ends.
  • NOAA Fisheries will publish a closure notice when the annual catch target is reached or projected to be reached. 



  • The 2020 recreational annual catch target is 217,100 pounds whole weight.  Projections indicated that recreational landings of gray triggerfish were expected to meet the annual catch target as of May 2, 2020, and recreational harvest was subsequently closed.  
  • Updated landings information for 2020 indicate the annual catch target has not been met.
  • This opening will allow the recreational annual catch target to be caught, while minimizing the risk of it being exceeded. 




Why was recreational harvest for gray triggerfish closed on May 2, 2020?

  • The recreational gray triggerfish fishing year for 2020 began on January 1, 2020. 
  • Recreational harvest for gray triggerfish in Gulf federal waters is seasonally closed annually in January and February.
  • Landings projections used 2018 and 2019 data, which indicated that recreational harvest of gray triggerfish would reach the annual catch target by May 2, 2020.  
  • In accordance with regulations, NOAA Fisheries closed recreational harvest of gray triggerfish when the annual catch target was projected to be met, in order to prevent overfishing.  Overfishing is when the annual catch rate is too high.



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:

  • 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

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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

            Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750 

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on August 28, 2020