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Saltwater Fishing Regulation Changes Take Effect on August 1

The Alabama Marine Resources Division reminds saltwater anglers of the upcoming regulation changes that go into effect on August 1, 2019. The regulation changes are listed below. For more information about saltwater fishing in Alabama, click here.  

Regulation Changes


  • 36 inches fork length minimum

Spotted Sea Trout

  • Slot limit: 15 inches total length, but not over 22 inches total length
  • 6 per person, per day with one over 22 inches total length allowed


  • 14 inches total length (recreational and commercial)
  • Recreational creel limit is 5 per person, per day
  • Commercial creel limit is 40 per person, per day and 40 per vessel
  • Closed season for flounder is November 1 through November 30, 2019, for both recreational and commercial anglers.

Hook Requirements

  • Gulf Reef Fish: non-stainless steel circle hooks when using natural bait
  • Sharks: non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks when using natural bait

Red Snapper Season Dates Extended

  • From 12:01 a.m., Thursday, August 1, 2019, through midnight on Monday, August 5
  • Recreationally caught red snapper landed in Alabama must be reported through Snapper Check by one vessel representative.
  • Greater Amberjack (season opens August 1, 2019) and gray triggerfish (season currently closed) can be voluntarily reported through Snapper Check.
  • Anglers can download the Outdoor Alabama app to access Snapper Check or visit If you have already downloaded the app, make sure the app has been updated.

Beginning August 26, 2019

A Reef Fish Endorsement will be available for purchase for recreational licenses beginning August 26, 2019. Commercial license sales will begin on September 16, 2019. The Reef Fish Endorsement will be required for any person possessing, taking or attempting to take any gulf reef fish species listed in Rule 220-3-.46 (see below). This endorsement is required for all resident and non-resident anglers 16 years of age and older, and includes disabled, veterans appreciation, 65 and older, lifetime license holders, pier licenses, annual saltwater licenses, trip licenses, commercial fishermen, and charter boats.

Gulf Reef Fish Species Listed in Rule 220-3-.46

Balistidae - Triggerfishes

  • Gray triggerfish, Balistes capriscus

Carangidae - Jacks

  • Greater amberjack, Seriola dumerili
  • Lesser amberjack, Seriola fasciata
  • Almaco jack, Seriola rivoliana
  • Banded rudderfish, Seriola zonata

Labridae - Wrasses

  • Hogfish, Lachnolaimus maximus

Lutjanidae - Snappers

  • Queen snapper, Etelis oculatus
  • Mutton snapper, Lutjanus analis
  • Blackfin snapper, Lutjanus buccanella
  • Red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus
  • Cubera snapper, Lutjanus cyanopterus
  • Gray (mangrove) snapper, Lutjanus griseus
  • Lane snapper, Lutjanus synagris
  • Silk snapper, Lutjanus vivanus
  • Yellowtail snapper, Ocyurus chrysurus
  • Wenchman, Pristipomoides aquilonaris
  • Vermilion snapper, Rhomboplites aurorubens

Malacanthidae - Tilefishes

  • Goldface tilefish, Caulolatilus chrysops
  • Blueline tilefish, Caulolatilus microps
  • Tilefish, Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps

Serranidae - Groupers

  • Speckled hind, Epinephelus drummondhayi
  • Yellowedge grouper, Epinephelus flavolimbatus
  • Goliath grouper, Epinephelus itajara
  • Red grouper, Epinephelus morio
  • Warsaw grouper, Epinephelus nigritus
  • Snowy grouper, Epinephelus niveatus
  • Black grouper, Mycteroperca bonaci
  • Yellowmouth grouper, Mycteroperca interstitialis
  • Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis
  • Scamp, Mycteroperca phenax
  • Yellowfin grouper, Mycteroperca venenosa

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit


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