People here on the Gulf Coast love to red snapper fish. And they think federal restrictions on red snapper fishing are an extremely important issue for our area. Those are the results of the latest News-5/Strategy Research Poll.
They’re beautiful, not too hard to catch, and very tasty. That’s why snapper fishing is so popular.
Our News-5/Strategy Research Poll of people in Mobile and Baldwin Counties shows 45-percent have been snapper fishing at some point or plan to go this summer.
Those numbers are not surprising to those down at the Dauphin Island Marina
“No, because snapper fishing on the Gulf Coast, especially Alabama, is just incredible,” said Joey Abruscato, Harbormaster at the Dauphin Island Marina.
In recent years, the federal government has severely limited red snapper season.
“Nine days, which is totally unacceptable,” lamented Rep. Bradley Byrne.
That’s nine days in federal waters where the snapper fishing is best. Expanding the season become a big local issue.
Our poll reveals that 52-percent in Mobile and Baldwin Counties think it’s a “critical” Issue. 23-percent say it’s of medium importance. 25-percent say it’s a minor or non-issue.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Byrne of the poll numbers. “We hear about it all the time because people have a right to fish in our waters. It’s just basic to who we are as Americans going back to the beginning of America.”
The News-5/Strategy poll shows even people who have never been snapper fishing have a keen interest in the issue. 38-percent of non-snapper fishermen say it’s a critical Issue, and 29-percent a medium issue. Only a third say it’s a minor or non-issue.
“I think most people who say yeah it’s critical even though I don’t go fishing get that this is an economic issue,” said Byrne.
“Even if someone’s not interested in snapper fishing, it could possibly affect them in some way economically,” added Abruscato. “You got hotels, restaurants, it affects them.It impacts our business here as much ice, fuel, and bait as we sell. It affects everybody. So the season is way too short.”
Federal snapper season runs June 1st thru the 9th for recreational fishermen. Snapper fishing in Alabama waters – up to nine miles off shore – runs May 27st thru the end of July.
Congressman Byrne has worked to pass legislation that would repeal federal quotas and oversight. It has passed the U.S. House, but not the Senate.