Commercial spot and croaker seasonal closures begin in December

Spot and Atlantic croaker are some of the most popular and easiest to catch fish in the surf. [photo courtesy NOAA]

Commercial season closures for spot and for croaker will begin on different dates in December.

The commercial fishery for spot will close from Dec. 10, 2021 through April 4, 2022. The commercial fishery for Atlantic croaker will close from Dec. 16, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

Recreational bag limits of 50-fish per person per day for each species, which were implemented in April, remain in place. The regulations comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission spot and Atlantic croaker fishery management plans. The stock status of both species is monitored by an adaptive management system, known as a traffic light analysis, which uses stock indicators to track relative abundance compared to a set of reference years.

The latest traffic light analyses for both spot and Atlantic croaker indicate a moderate level of concern. This requires the 50-fish bag limit for the recreational fishery and a 1% reduction in commercial landings from the 10-year average for each state from New Jersey to Florida that has substantial spot and Atlantic croaker landings and does not already have regulations in place.

These management measures will remain in effect for at least two years for spot and at least three years for Atlantic croaker. Future traffic light analyses for each species will determine if the regulations are still required, should remain in place, or if additional management measures are needed.

For more specific information on the commercial season closure for spot and Atlantic croaker, see proclamations FF-66-2021 and FF-65-2021. For more specific information on the recreational regulations for spot and Atlantic croaker issued earlier this year, see proclamations FF-23-2021 and FF-24-2021.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage at 252-808-8009 or