Gulf Council Votes for Fall Red Snapper Season
Pending approval by NOAA Fisheries, anglers along the Alabama Gulf Coast will be able to catch red snapper this fall.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted 11-5 to pass an emergency rule to establish a fall red snapper season in Gulf waters that will allow anglers to fish each weekend (12:01 a.m. Friday to 12:01 a.m. Monday) from Oct. 1 to Nov. 22, a total of 24 fishing days.
The fishing closures of much of the Gulf of Mexico due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill greatly limited the red snapper catch during the season that closed on July 24. The red snapper catch was estimated at 1.1 million pounds, which meant that 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4-million-pound quota remained.
Council members decided that the Oct. 1 opening day would allow more of the Gulf to be reopened to fishing.
Roy Crabtree, director of NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Regional Office, said the emergency rule and final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register by Sept. 15 and the approval of the fall snapper season should come at the same time.
“We’re glad that Alabama anglers will likely have a fall season,” said Chris Blankenship, acting director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division. “Red snapper fishing is what we’re known for here on the Alabama coast. It’s welcome news after a long summer of disappointment.”
The daily bag limit of two red snapper with a minimum total length of 16 inches will remain in effect for the fall season.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com