Long, Non-Stop Red Snapper Season to Begin in Late May

Red Snapper

The 2016 Red Snapper season will be a federally-set nine days in the Gulf of Mexico, but 66 days in Alabama state waters up to nine miles from the shore.

The federal government announced the nine day Red Snapper season for any waters in the Gulf on Wednesday.  The federal season runs from June 1 to June 10 for private anglers.

Shortly after the federal season was announced, Alabama Marine Resources Director Chris Blankenship told News 5 the state season would run from May 27 to July 31.  The state red snapper season is continuous, meaning all days permit fishing.

For charter boats, the federal government says that season will last 46 days, running from June 1 to July 17.  Charter boats are not permitted to fish during the state’s season — making matters a bit confusing.

Here’s the release from the office of Congressman Bradley Byrne:

The recreational sector is currently divided into two components, private and for-hire. As such, the season lengths and dates are:
Private angling component: Nine days; June 1 – June 10, 2016, at 12:01am local time.
Federally-permitted for-hire component: 46 days; June 1 – July 17, 2016, at 12:01am local time.
NOAA Fisheries also approved the final rule to reallocate the Gulf of Mexico red snapper harvest between the commercial and recreational sectors from 51:49 percent to 48.5 : 51.5 percent respectively (a change of 2.5%). The reallocation is based on changes in the recreational data incorporated into a 2014 red snapper population assessment update.

The data utilized in that assessment better reflects the catch history of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper recreational fishery as it was derived from ongoing improvements NOAA is making to the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP).

The new allocation results in:
The commercial quota set at 6.768 million pounds for 2016 and 6.664 million pounds for 2017.
The recreational quota set at 7.192 million pounds for 2016 and 7.076 million pounds for 2017.
The 2016 and 2017 private angling quota would be set at 4.150 million pounds and 4.083 million pounds, respectively.
The 2016 and 2017 Federal for-hire quota would be set at 3.042 million pounds and 2.993 million pounds, respectively.

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