New regulations require circle hooks, dehooking devices and venting tools for Gulf of Mexico reef fish.
Effective June 1, 2008
New state and federal regulations require commercial and recreational fishermen angling for any species of reef fish in Gulf of Mexico waters to possess and use non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing with live or cut baits, a dehooking device and a venting tool.
The intent of the new regulations is to reduce by catch and discard mortality of reef fish that are caught on hook and line and not kept. If the gear associated with these new regulations is used properly, it will help more reef fish survive when they are released.
Who will be affected?
Any person on board a vessel harvesting reef fish in Gulf of Mexico waters. This includes both inshore and offshore anglers.
What species of Gulf of Mexico reef fish are included?
Reef fish species include all snappers, groupers, sea bass, amberjacks, gray triggerfish, hogfish, red porgy and golden tilefish.
Federal Reef Fish Regulations in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
State of Florida
Visit our Web site for more information on our research and outreach investment in sustainable fisheries.
- 2011 Recreational Fishing Regulations for GOM Federal Waters
- Catch-and-Release: Things You Can Do to Help Saltwater Fish Survive [475KB pdf]
- Circle Hooks
- Circle Hooks [296KB pdf]
- Circle Hook Magic [76KB pdf]
- Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper 2008 Management Measures - Frequently Asked Questions [40KB pdf]
- New Regulations Requiring Circle Hooks, Dehooking Devices, and Venting Tools for Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish - Frequently Asked Questions [68KB pdf]
- Release Techniques for Marine Fishes
- Venting: A Guide to Releasing Reef Fish with Ruptured Swimbladders