A cold snap in 2010 caused the closure of snook harvesting in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters. The cold kill negatively impacted the population, particularly juvenile snook. The closure was expected to be lifted in July of 2012, but instead the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission decided to extend the temporary closure through August 31, 2013, in an effort to protect this species and give it time to recover. The FWC manage snook in state and federal waters, although the species tends to inhabit the shallower, near-shore state waters.
The FWC recently met in Lakeland where they discussed the current status of snook populations in Gulf and Atlantic waters. They decided to allow the recreational harvest of Gulf of Mexico snook to reopen this September. All bag limits, size limits, gear restrictions and closed seasons will be in effect. This includes the one-fish-per-person, per-day bag limit, the 28- to 33-inch total length slot limit and the two annual closures in Gulf waters, which are from December 1 through the end of February and May 1 through August 31. The Atlantic recreational harvest of snook will also open September 1st. Snook are one of Florida’s premier game fish.