NOAA Sustainable Fisheries Division Gulf of Mexico Branch, together with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, manages fisheries in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Federal waters begin where state waters end and extend 200 nautical miles into the Gulf of Mexico.
- Code of Federal Regulations 50 CFR 622
- Quick Guide: Recreational and Commercial Fishing Regulations
- Current Fishing Seasons and Closures
- Allowable Gear
- Non-Federally Regulated Species: A state may regulate vessels fishing in federal waters that are registered in that state and fishing for species without applicable federal regulations, or for which management has been delegated to the state and the state rules are consistent with federal regulations.
- Recreational Fishing: No permit or license is required for fishing in federal waters. Anglers are responsible for abiding by all federal and state fishing regulations and obtaining any state license required.
- Important: A fishery may close when the quota or annual catch limit is projected to be reached. Sign up for fishery bulletins and check Current Fishing Seasons and Closures.
Stay up to date on fishery announcements and closures:
- Sign up for e-mail bulletins at http://bit.ly/HQDUEU.
- To receive important fishery related alerts via text message, including immediate fishery openings and closures, and significant changes to fishing regulations, opt-in for one or more of the following groups. Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time.
- Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries: Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
- Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries: Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777