ORANGE BEACH, Alabama (WKRG)
At one of the most picturesque spots on the Gulf Coast, Sunday’s red snapper protest wasn’t the visual organizers had hoped. “I think we had a decent turnout,” says Justin Fadalla with Saltwater Finaddicts. “It wasn’t what we expected. We expected a few more boats.”
Two dozen boats, not the 200 predicted. All angry over the three-day season for recreational anglers that ended at midnight Saturday.
“They allow Texas to fish 365 days a year, four snapper per person,” says Tom Steber with Zeke’s Marina. “Alabama can’t do nothing.”
Charter boats can still fish. Many passed by the protest full of eager fishermen heading out to federal waters to get their limit of red snapper. “We’re all fisherman,” says Fadalla. “That’s what this is all about to protect our fishing rights. That’s what we really needed.”
Ultimately the decision on red snapper will come from Washington far away from Perdido Pass. A couple of U.S. Senate candidates hoping to be in on that decision attended the protest and weighed in on the subject. “We have a good fishery in the northern Gulf,” says Trip Pittman. “We’re just not getting credit for the number of fish we have.”
“The next thing they are going to tell us how to hold the pole, the rod and reel,” said Roy Moore. “When they do that, they can do anything.”
The numbers may have been small but the message clear. “Get Mr. Trump, President Trump’s administration to do what they promised which is to get the regulatory boot off the throats of America and where is a great place to start, fishing,” says Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon.