King mackerel are divided into two migratory groups: the Gulf and Atlantic groups. The groups are divided into areas, zones, and subzones, and each group, area, zone, and subzone may have a separate quota and trip limit. The boundary between the Gulf and Atlantic groups shifts south on April 1 and north on November 1 of each year. Please see maps and charts below.
Atlantic Group King Mackerel Areas
The Atlantic group is divided into areas for trip limits only. The quota is for both areas combined.
The Northern area is from the Flagler/Volusia County line on Florida’s east coast north to the intersection point of New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. This area has a 3,500-pound per day trip limit year-round.
From April through October, the Southern area is from the Flagler/Volusia County line on Florida’s east coast south to the Monroe/Collier County line on Florida’s west coast, which is the boundary between the Gulf and Atlantic groups during that period.
From November through March, the Southern area does not exist because this area becomes part of the Gulf group when the boundary between Gulf and Atlantic groups shifts east and north to the Flagler/Volusia County line on November 1 (see below). The fishing year for Atlantic group king mackerel begins March 1, but the east coast of Florida remains part of the Gulf group until April 1, when the boundary shifts back to the Monroe/Collier County line.
During April through October, the trip limit off Volusia County is 3,500 pounds per day – the same as the trip limit for the Northern area. The trip limit for the area south of the Volusia/Brevard County line to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line is 75 fish per day. The trip limit off Monroe County is 1,250 pounds per day.
Gulf Group King Mackerel Zones and Subzones
The Western zone includes waters off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and has a trip limit of 3,000 pounds per day year-round. This zone closed September 20, 2013, and will reopen July 1, 2014.
Eastern Zone/Florida West Coast
The Eastern zone includes waters off Florida’s west and east coasts. The west coast is divided into Northern and Southern subzones.
The Northern subzone extends east and south from the Florida/Alabama state line to the Lee/Collier County line. This subzone closed October 12, 2013, and will reopen July 1, 2014.
From November through March, the Southern subzone extends south and east from the Lee/Collier County line to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line. With the April boundary shift between the Gulf and Atlantic groups to the Monroe/Collier County line, the Southern subzone for the Gulf group is reduced to the area off Collier County, and Monroe County becomes part of the Atlantic group. The quota for the Gulf group Southern subzone is divided equally between the hook-and-line and gillnet sectors. The hook-and-line sector closed February 21, 2014, and will reopen July 1, 2014. The gillnet sector closed January 29, 2014, and will reopen January 20, 2015.
Both the Northern and Southern subzones have a hook-and-line trip limit of 1,250 pounds per day until 75 percent of the quota is reached. After that, the trip limit is 500 pounds per day until the end of the fishing season or the quota is met. The gillnet sector in the Southern subzone has a trip limit of 25,000 pounds per day.
Eastern Zone/Florida East Coast (Mixing Zone)
From November through March, fish harvested south of the Flagler/Volusia County line to the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line are considered to be Gulf group king mackerel. The trip limit for this Florida East Coast subzone during this time period is 50 fish per day, until February 1, when the trip limit may increase to 75 fish per day, if 75 percent of the quota has not been reached. This subzone has not closed. The area will become part of the Atlantic group when the boundary shifts April 1, 2014.
This bulletin is only a summary of the regulations. The rule in the Federal Register is the official regulation.
Intersection point of New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island 41o18’16.249″N lat. / 71o54’28.477″ W long.
Flagler/Volusia County line 29o25′ N lat. Winter Council boundary
Volusia/Brevard County line 28°47.8′ N. lat.
Miami-Dade/Monroe County line 25°20.4′ N. lat.
Monroe/Collier County line 25o48′ N lat. Summer Council boundary
Lee/Collier County line 26°19.8′ N. lat.
Florida/Alabama state line 87°31.1′ W. long.
2013/2014 Commercial Quotas for King Mackerel (pounds)
Western Zone 1,071,360
Florida West Coast Subzone Northern 178,848
Florida West Coast Subzone Southern (hook-and-line) 551,448
Florida West Coast Subzone Southern (gillnet) 551,448
Florida East Coast Subzone 1,102,896
Atlantic Group (includes gillnets north of Cape Lookout, NC) 3,880,000