Bluefish fishery to temporarily close during March, April 2024

Brunswick, Ga.

 Illustration by Dianne Rome Peebles

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced a temporary closure of the recreational Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) fishery in state waters for the months of March and April 2024. This action is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Bluefish population along the Atlantic coast.

"Recent assessments by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) indicate that Bluefish stocks are overfished, but not experiencing overfishing," said Carolyn Belcher, chief of marine fisheries for DNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD). "This means the population has declined below levels that can support maximum sustainable yield. By taking proactive measures now, we can help rebuild the Bluefish population and ensure a healthy fishery for future generations."

The closure applies to all recreational anglers, including those fishing from private boats, charter boats, and shore-based locations. Possession of Bluefish during the closure period will be prohibited.

This temporary closure aligns with management measures approved by the ASMFC, which oversees the management of Bluefish along the Atlantic coast. While other ASMFC-member states have been required to reduce year-round bag limits to three fish for private and shore anglers, and five fish for charter trips, Georgia has been able to keep its 15-fish bag limit by closing the fishery for two months a year.

CRD will continue to work with the ASMFC to develop long-term management strategies. The recreational Bluefish fishery will reopen in May.

About the Coastal Resources Division

The mission of the Coastal Resources Division is to balance coastal development and protection of the coast's natural assets, socio-cultural heritage and recreational resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

Media Contact

Tyler Jones
Public Information Officer
Coastal Resources Division
Georgia Department of Natural Resources

PDFDownload the signed administrative order and public notice