TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After two rounds of severe red tide in Tampa and Sarasota bays, snook have re-opened to harvest for some along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
The season runs from March 1 to April 30, north of State Road 64 in Manatee County. This means one snook can be kept per person if measured between 28 and 33 inches.
This area includes all of Tampa Bay, the Braden River and the Manatee River and its tributaries. One exception is the Anclote River. Snook are still catch and release only in the river and its tributaries.
Areas south of State Road 64, including Palma Sola and Sarasota Bay down through Gordon Pass, remain catch and release for snook and redfish through Aug. 31, 2022.
Interestingly, all species of snook are born male. They are protandrous hermaphrodites according the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. They typically make the transition from male to female between 12 and 35 inches or when they reach one to seven years old. Therefore, the majority of larger snook are actually female.
Gray triggerfish have also re-opened for harvest in the Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters after being closed in late 2021 due to annual quotas being met, per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.