All you red snapper lovers, you are going to like this news.
Red snapper, one delicious fish and a great ball of fun to catch, can now be legally caught the rest of this summer. That's music to the ears of many recreational anglers in the gulf states.
The announcement of the red snapper season extension will come following an apparent agreement reached this week between the state directors in the five Gulf State fisheries, and with officials in the Department of Commerce.
For those not close to the situation, some of the changes being made are an extension to the season of either 38 or 39 days, which is uncertain at the moment. The news regulations will also allow recreational red snapper fishing in state and federal waters on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day. It is reported that this awesome new extension could start as early as Friday, June 17.
This news is a breath of fresh air to the locals. This year's federal season for recreational anglers was initially capped at an incredibly short three days, and ended on June 4. That resulted in a lot of negative feedback from recreational anglers, as you would expect. It was going to be the shortest red snapper season on record.
The only downfall is that with the extension of the federal season, it is likely to result in fewer days to fish for snapper in State waters. According to AL.com, the agreement anticipates closing the state waters (which extend nine nautical miles from shore) during the weekdays, Monday through Friday.
The Department of Commerce of the U.S. released a statement via the Office of Public Affairs on the matter. Here's an excerpt:
The agreement reached between the Secretary of Commerce and the five Gulf States is a significant step forward in building a new Federal-State partnership in managing the Gulf of Mexico red snapper stock. This represents a commitment from the states to restore a shared vision of uniform management that will benefit the long term recovery of the red snapper stock while maximizing the economic benefits from recreational fishing in the Gulf region.
The new rule announced today will re-open the 2017 Federal recreational season for red snapper by the private angling component on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 16, 2017, through Labor Day, September 4, 2017. During this time, the season will be closed Monday through Thursday with the exception of July 3, July 4, and September 4. Correspondingly, the five Gulf States will bring their state red snapper water seasons into alignment with the Federal water season for the rest of the summer.
The Departments rule does not change the quota or season length for the federally permitted for-hire component of the recreational fishery or the commercial individual fishing quota program and the 2017 commercial quota.
It will be interesting to see what those more involved think of it. Bottom line, groups worked together to come to a solution for a serious fishing problem. It's good to know these things can be worked out.