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, Nov. 21.
Updated information about red snapper management and regulations is available online at MyFWC.com/Rules (click on “Fishing – Saltwater”).