Bonus recreational red snapper harvest weekends set to begin in Gulf
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Media contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
The recreational harvest of red snapper in Gulf of
Mexico state and federal waters off Florida will be open for eight
consecutive three-day weekends, beginning Friday, Oct. 1. The
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages
anglers to enjoy these extra weekend fishing days for Gulf red
snapper, which were made possible because harvest levels of these
fish were lower than expected this past summer.
The regular recreational harvest season for red
snapper in Gulf waters took place from June 1 until July 24 this
year. This season was set based on projections of how many
red snapper recreational anglers could catch without exceeding the
annual harvest quota, which was established to help rebuild
overfished stocks so that anglers can benefit from better red
snapper fishing in the future.
However, the recreational fishing effort for Gulf
red snapper by private and charter boats was much less than
anticipated, due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which
resulted in fishing closures and cancelled fishing trips in federal
and state waters off parts of Florida's Gulf coast.
Consequently, the Gulf recreational red snapper quota was not met
during the regular season, which means more fishing days can be
opened this fall.
Anglers, except for the captain and crew of
for-hire vessels, may keep two red snapper greater than 16 inches
total length per person on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning
Oct. 1 and extending for eight consecutive weekends through Sunday,
Updated information about red snapper management
and regulations is available online at MyFWC.com/Rules (click on
"Fishing - Saltwater").