Red SnapperRed Snapper

NEW: At their June meeting, the FWC approved the creation of the Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting System, a mandatory requirement for private recreational anglers fishing from a boat to harvest, attempt to harvest, or possess red snapper, gag, greater amberjack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, almaco jack, red grouper, black grouper, vermilion snapper, or gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico, excluding Monroe County. This requirement becomes mandatory April 1, 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Recreational Regulations for state and federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico

 Red Snapper 2014 Open Harvest Season Min. Size Limit Daily Bag Limit
State and Federal Waters

State waters: Closed; Season was open the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 24, 2014) through July 14.

Federal waters: Closed; Season was open June 1, 2014, through June 9, 2014, closing June 10, 2014.

Learn more about the federal season here. Adobe PDF

16" total length

2 per harvester per
day (bag limit not changing)

*(included in the 10 per harvester per day state snapper aggregate bag limit)

Gear rules apply. Visit gear rules page for more information.

*Zero daily bag and possession limit for captain and crew on for hire vessels.

Recreational and commercial fishers in Gulf waters off Florida are required to use circle hooks and dehooking devices when fishing for reef fish, including red snapper.  Visit the reef fish gear rules page for more information.

View a history of Red Snapper management in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters.


Red snapper are long-lived, early-maturing reef fish that are broadly distributed in the Gulf of Mexico. They can live to be 57. Older, larger females contribute far more eggs than younger, smaller females. To have a sustainable red snapper stock, there should be an abundance of older/larger fish to maximize the number of young fish coming into the fishery.

Red snapper comparison

One 24-inch female red snapper (about an 8 year old fish) produces as many eggs as 212 17-inch females (about 5 years old).

Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles

 

For more information:

Gulf Red Snapper Research

The FWCs Fish and Wildlife Research Institute is seeking recreational anglers to volunteer to take catch cards on their next offshore fishing trip to record the numbers of red snapper harvested and a tally of red snapper released by size and hook location.

Links to Federal agencies and reports:

Other Snapper

Recreational Regulations for state waters of the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Snapper Min. Size Closed Season Bag Limit Remarks
Black and Wenchman Snapper     Included within 10 per harvester per day bag limit  
Cubera Snapper 12" (see remarks)   Included within 10 per harvester per day snapper aggregate bag limit

May possess no more than 2 Cubera Snapper over 30" per harvester or vessel per day, whichever is less

30" or larger not included within the Snapper aggregate bag limit

Gray/Mangrove Snapper 10"   5 per harvester per day Included within 10 per harvester per day snapper aggregate bag limit
Lane Snapper 8"     Not included in the 10 per harvester per day snapper aggregate  bag limit
Mutton Snapper 16"   Included within 10 per harvester per day snapper aggregate bag limit  
Schoolmaster Snapper 10"   Included within 10 per harvester per day snapper aggregate bag limit  
Vermilion Snapper 10"   10 per harvester per day Not included in the 10 per harvester per day snapper aggregate  bag limit
 Snapper, other 12"   Included within 10 per harvester per day snapper aggregate bag limit Includes: Blackfin, Dog, Mahogany, Queen, Silk and Yellowtail

*Note: Gear rules require circle hooks and dehooking devices to be used in the Gulf reef fish fishery.



FWC Facts:
More than 1,000 different species of fish populate Florida's inshore waters.

Learn More at AskFWC