The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently set the 2017 Gulf state waters recreational red snapper season during its April meeting.
“We are once again able to provide and maintain fishing opportunities for Gulf recreational anglers and provide stakeholders with spring, summer and fall fishing options for this economically important species,” said FWC Commissioner Chuck Roberts in a statement.
Due to efforts to manage the species, red snapper season has seen shorter seasons in recent years. This is a source of frustration within the fishing community, which contends the species has rebounded.
This year, the season begins the first weekend of May, opening Saturdays and Sundays. The daily season starts May 27 and runs through July 9. The season reopens during weekends in September and October.
The federal seasons for private recreational anglers and federally-permitted charter boats and head boats in Gulf federal waters have not yet been announced by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries.
On its website, NOAA acknowledges that “many fishermen are frustrated with the increasingly restrictive management regime and the lack of cooperation between state and federal governments” and that “new and innovative solutions are needed to manage the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper fishery.” The agency offers a historical overview of the issue and lays out potential “ways we can move forward.” The NOAA overview can be found here.
For more information on the recently set state snapper season, or to view presentations given at the Commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select ‘Commission Meetings,’ then click on the link below ‘Next Meeting.’