NOAA Fisheries recently released preliminary numbers for Florida’s recreational harvest of gag grouper and the results are baffling. According to the federal data system, recreational anglers caught a total of 1.67 million pounds of gag grouper in 2023:
Private boat anglers: 1.4 million pounds
Charter boat – 162,832 pounds
Shore-based anglers – 106,602 pounds
Headboat – 8,644 pounds
The State of Florida’s Reef Fish Survey reports that private boat anglers – the only category for which it collects data – caught just 240,000 pounds of gag grouper in 2023.
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