Federal Red Snapper season extended - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Cheryl Sanders
June 15, 2017

News 5 has confirmed that the Gulf State Fisheries Directors and the Department of Commerce have agreed to extend the federal Red Snapper Recreational season through Labor Day.

"Red Snapper are an integral part of our Gulf Coast fishing communities and local economies", Scalise said.

An agreement reached between the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the other four Gulf states happened in record time. The season resumes this weekend, and will allow recreational red snapper fishing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until Labor Day.

Previously the season was limited to a historic low of three days, June 1-3, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Department of Commerce announced this in exchange for getting rid of the state weekday fishing options.

Here are the red snapper fishing days: June 16-18, June 23-25, June 30 - July 4, July 7-9, July 14-16, July 21-23, July 28-30, August 4-6, Aug. 11-13, August 18-20, Aug. 25-27 and September 1-4. "By setting the three-day season, federal fisheries managers essentially told the public the only way they could access this public resource would be to hire a charter boat captain to take them fishing for red snapper in federal waters or to purchase red snapper at the grocery store".

Though the announcement is good news in the short run for the recreational-fishing sector, it may come at a cost. "Louisiana and MS are going to base their seasons on conservation efforts, which means they're going to monitor the recreational catch and make a determination, and if there are fish left, they will go ahead and open up for a fall season".

The Environmental Defense Fund and Charter Fisherman's Association sent a letter to Ross decrying the season expansion because it will result in significant quota overages.

"If we manage this effort responsibly and stay within established conservation standards, we stand a better chance of gaining control of fishing for red snapper in federal waters in the future". Texas anglers made it clear they were not willing to give up those attractive fall fishing days. "Of note is that, over the last three years, Texas' private recreational landings have accounted for less than 7 percent of the total Gulfwide landings".

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