The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is requesting help from anglers, spearfishers, and charter captains to report information about the Atlantic red snapper fishery.
On July 23rd, 2018, NOAA Fisheries announced a final rule for Amendment 23 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. Recreational Atlantic red snapper season will open for harvest in Atlantic federal waters (beyond 3 nautical miles from shore) on weekends only (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) on the following days:
- August 10, 11, and 12, 2018 – The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 10, 2018, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 13, 2018.
- August 17, 18, and 19, 2018 – The recreational season opens again at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 17, 2018, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 20, 2018.
The recreational limit for spearfishers and anglers will be one red snapper per person per day, with no minimum size limit.
Each day during the season, FWC researchers will be posted at boat ramps and marinas along the east coast of Florida to collect data about the harvested fish from cooperative citizens. Survey responses and biological samples help scientists compile valuable data about the health of the red snapper fishery, and enable assessments for next red snapper season.
In 2017, Atlantic red snapper season was originally open for two weekends in November, and upon review of recreational fisheries data, was reopened for harvest for an additional weekend in December. This year, FWC anticipates anglers will be as cooperative as they were last year in order to carry on a responsible Atlantic red snapper fishery for years to come.
If anglers catch a tagged red snapper, FWC researchers ask that they report it to the Angler Tag Return Hotline: 800-367-4461.
For information on obtaining a recreational saltwater fishing license, go here: http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/