NOAA has announced a temporary reopening of red snapper fishing for anglers in the Gulf of Mexico. Beginning October 1, recreational fishing for red snapper will be allowed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for eight weeks, through November 21.
The majority of red snapper caught in the Gulf off Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle come from federal waters. Much of this area was closed in June in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Consequently, recreational fishermen caught only a third of their 3.4 million pound Gulf of Mexico quota this year. The reopening is an opportunity for recreational fishermen to catch what remains of their quota for the year.
"We worked closely with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, fishermen, and the charter and sportfishing industries on this reopening to provide recreational fishermen an opportunity to harvest their full quota this year," said Eric Schwaab, assistant administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service. "This new season will be a boost to recreational fishing and tourism following this unprecedented oil spill event."
The fishery management council asked NOAA Fisheries Service to reopen the recreational red snapper season in response to extensive public testimony from fishermen.
This weekend reopening does not apply to the Gulf commercial red snapper fishery.
The recreational daily bag limit is two red snapper per person per day, minimum 16 inches total length.
Since July 22, NOAA has reopened more than 52,000 square miles of Gulf federal waters previously closed due to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.