Fishing Feature: Offshore Fishing and the Mandatory Gulf Reef Fish Survey

Red Snapper

From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

All Gulf Reef Fish Anglers are required to sign up for the Gulf Reef Fish Survey.

By signing up to participate in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey, you are improving recreational data for several reef fish species such as red snapper and gag. The process is easy, no-cost and will help the FWC paint a clearer picture of how many people are targeting Gulf reef fish like red snapper and gag and what they are seeing and harvesting.

Who is a Gulf Reef Fish Angler?

Recreational anglers (resident and non-resident) fishing from a private boat off Florida’s Gulf coast (excluding Monroe County) who intend to harvest, attempt to harvest or possess one or more of the following reef fish species:

Reef Fishing

  • red snapper
  • gag
  • greater amberjack
  • lesser amberjack
  • banded rudderfish
  • almaco jack
  • red grouper
  • black grouper
  • vermilion snapper
  • gray triggerfish

The following groups will also be required to participate, even though they are exempt from saltwater fishing licensing requirements:

  • anglers who are 65 or older,
  • residents who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces but are not stationed in this state and are home on leave for 30 days or less
  • veterans with disabilities, active or reserve duty military service members and their immediate family and/or an assistant who are participating in a permitted outdoor recreational event for which the Commission has issued a Military/Disabled Veteran Event License Exemption Permit to the event organizer, and
  • anglers with multi-year or lifetime licenses, and other anglers that are exempt from having to purchase an annual saltwater fishing license.

Have questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions

Who does not participate?

Anglers who are not required to participate include those who are:

  • fishing from a for-hire vessel (including charter and party boats)
  • anglers who are under 16 years of age
  • people authorized by the FWC who are harvesting for scientific and educational purposes (such as with a special activity license)
  • fishing from a vessel that has a valid recreational vessel fishing license. (This license covers anyone saltwater fishing from a recreational vessel where no fee is paid. This is not an individual fishing license)
  • anglers who do not intend to possess or attempt harvest of any of the 10 reef fish species listed above”