Gulf anglers finally catch a break

Fall red snapper season starts to take shape

Posted on August 24, 2010

HOUSTON, TX – A fall red snapper season is in the works thanks to a vote of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council at its meeting last week in Florida. The extension is designed to give recreational anglers who might have missed out on the 53-day season due to closures associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a chance to fish.

“The Council is making the best of an unprecedented situation and they should be commended for coming up with this arrangement after a very difficult summer for Gulf Coast anglers,” said Chester Brewer, chairman of CCA’s National Government Relations Committee. “As long as quota remains to be caught and the stock stays on track to rebuild, re-opening this fishery will provide a huge boost to the angling communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.”
 
At its meeting in June, the Gulf Council cleared the way for an extension of the season with an emergency rule giving NOAA Regional Administrator Roy Crabtree the authority to extend the season if recreational quota remained available after the season closed on July 24. NOAA Fisheries has since determined that approximately 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4-million-pound recreational quota remain uncaught. The emergency rule passed by the Council last week would allow anglers to fish each weekend (12:01 a.m. Friday to 12:01 a.m. Monday) from Oct. 1 to Nov. 22, for a total of 24 additional fishing days. The daily bag limit will remain two fish per person with a 16-inch minimum size limit.
 
“With some good luck and good weather, the anglers who have been forced to stay at the dock this summer will be able to get out and take advantage of this recovering fishery,” said Russell Nelson, CCA’s Gulf Fisheries consultant. “Managers will need to guard against letting an extension negatively impact the red snapper quota next year, but properly monitored, this is a good move by the Council that will be much appreciated.” 
 
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CCA is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the nation. With almost 100,000 members in 17 state chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit www.JoinCCA.org for more information.
 
CONTACT: Ted Venker, 1-800-201-FISH