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Home > Resources & Publications > Newsletters & Magazines > Chenier Ecology > 2010 > 9-10

Resources & Publications:  Chenier Ecology

September 2010

Recreational Red Snapper Season Opens Oct.1

At the request of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Service will reopen the recreational red snapper season for eight consecutive weekends beginning Oct. 1. The re-opening is effective each weekend from 12:01 a.m. local time Friday, through 12:01 a.m. local time Monday. The fishing season will close at 12:01 a.m. local time on Nov. 22.

This spring, the Gulf Council increased the overall red snapper quota from 5 million pounds to 6.945 million pounds. Yet the 2010 recreational red snapper season was open for only 53 days. This shortened season was due, in part, to an increase in catch rates and the average size of red snapper. This increase, coupled with past effort, led to projections that the quota would be filled sooner than in 2009. But the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill and subsequent federal fishing area closures resulted in reduced effort, leaving the recreational red snapper quota unfilled.

Anglers are reminded that current fishing regulations apply. Anglers may keep two red snapper per person, per day, that measure a minimum of 16-inches total length. In addition, anglers must have a venting tool and dehooking device when fishing for Gulf reef fish. The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks is also required for fishermen using natural baits. For-hire captain and crew are not permitted to keep red snapper.

For a long time, red snapper has been one of the most popular offshore species in the northern Gulf of Mexico. As a result, it is also one of the most heavily regulated fisheries due to overfishing and recovery plans. Over the last 20 years, many questions concerning red snapper have been answered through research and monitoring. Much of this research has been compiled and transcribed into layman’s terms on the Louisiana Sea Grant website, www.seagrantfish.lsu.edu/faqs/redsnapper/index.html .

Some of the topics covered include; red snapper biology and life history, red snapper management, red snapper stock assessment, and red snapper venting and de-hooking. The website is extremely comprehensive and offers information on any aspect of red snapper.

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