It might not seem like such a big deal for most folks but for people in Orange Beach, it’s almost personal. “A federal group of bureaucrats that know nothing about our fishery, telling us how many fish we can take and when we can take em,” says Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon.
Folks in Washington may be listening. All five Gulf states are in talks with the feds for an emergency extension to the season. That could mean additional days for private boats to fish for red snapper in federal waters starting later this month.
“We keep battling, battling, and battling dealing with such poor data and collection of information that it’s killing us,” says Tom Steber with Zeke’s Marina.
That was the message from a protest over the weekend. Private anglers upset they only had three days this year to go after the popular fish. The solution, according to protest organizer Justin Fadalla, is simple, “Give it back to the states. The state needs to regulate the waters. Let us take it back. I think that’s where the answers lie.”
In the meantime, red snapper season continues until July 19th for charter boats. The state season, within the nine-mile limit off the coast, runs until July 31st.