The recreational harvest of cobia between the Georgia-Florida border and New York will close at June 20, 2016, and will reopen on Jan. 1, 2017, NOAA Fisheries announced earlier today.
The move has been deemed necessary because the recreational and total annual catch limits of cobia, 630,000 pounds, were exceeded in 2015, by approximately 150 percent. NOAA Fisheries is required to reduce the length of the recreational season the next year to make sure the quota is not exceeded two years in a row.
During the closure period, recreational harvest or possession of cobia is prohibited.
Rumors of a federally mandated June 15 closure caused North Carolina to reduce its bag limit for cobia to one fish daily. South Carolina has legislation pending that would close cobia fishing south of Edisto through the month of May. It’s not known how the passing of that legislation would affect the federal closure.
If the annual catch limit is not reached by June 15, there is the possibility that the season can be lengthened.