It looks like Florida’s east coast will get a red snapper season this year.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted to open the season during a meeting at the end of September.
Eastern Florida hasn’t had a red snapper season in over a year.
“We’ve consistently heard from our constituents about the increasing number of red snapper encountered and concerns that harvest has been prohibited for the past four years,” says Dr. Michelle Duval, chair of the Council. “The majority of comments support allowing a limited harvest of red snapper.”
The Council voted for anglers to go after the fish in federal waters. The NOAA still needs to approve the plan.
Once NOAA gives the okay, the season will be set. Officials say it will take place mid to late October and last 6-12 days.
Recreational anglers could catch one red snapper a day during the season. Commercial fishermen will be allowed up to 75 pounds per trip.
Besides voting to allow the short October season, the Council also started working on 2018. It approved measures in Amendment 43 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan to have a 2018 season.
The amendment would allow for “mini-seasons” for red snapper beginning in July. These would include both recreational and commercial fishing.
The Secretary of Commerce has to approve Amendment 43.