Triggerfish Opened January 1

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council reminds anglers that the recreational seasons for gray triggerfish, red grouper, and greater amberjack opened in federal waters on January 1, 2016.  The Gray Triggerfish size limit is 14” fork length and bag limit is 2 per person within the 20-reefish combined total. The published closure is June 1 through July 31 but is subject to an in-season closure.

Triggerfish are named for the mechanism of the three spines of their dorsal fin. When these fish are startled, the first of these spines locks upright by the second spine and drops when the latter spine is pressed like a trigger. The function of this reaction is to lock the fish firmly in a mass of coral. When attacked, triggerfish dive into the coral and erect their spine, releasing it only when the danger has passed.

Triggerfish are oval in shape and have a compressed body configuration. Their colors include blue, yellow, white, black, and gray. They have detailed designs that often include lines and spots. The color schemes allow them to blend in well with their habitat.