Alabama’s saltwater anglers will soon be required to abide by changes to the bag and/or length limits on several popular fish species.
On Aug. 1, the length and bag limits will change for speckled trout (spotted seatrout) and southern flounder, while the length limit will increase for cobia, also known as ling or lemonfish.
Jason Downey, Alabama Marine Resources’ enforcement chief, said the speckled trout regulations will move to a slot limit, which means anglers will be allowed to keep trout that measure between 15 and 22 inches total length with an allowance for one fish over 22 inches total length. The bag limit will be reduced to six speckled trout per person per day.
Alabama’s inshore anglers should be familiar with the slot limit. Red drum (redfish) have been regulated for several years by a slot limit of 16 to 26 inches total length. An allowance for one fish larger than 26 inches (bull red) is included.
The southern flounder size limit will be increased to 14 inches total length, and the bag limit will be reduced to five per person for recreational anglers.
The limits for commercial anglers will be 14 inches total length with a daily limit of 40 per person or 40 per vessel.
The entire month of November will be closed to flounder fishing, both recreational and commercial. November is when flounder migrate to the Gulf of Mexico to spawn.
Marine Resources conducted five public meetings along the Alabama Gulf Coast to discuss proposed trout and flounder changes, provide information from the stock assessments for those two fish and gain feedback from the public on the potential changes.