On July 23, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the recreational sector will open for harvest on weekends only (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) on August 10, 11, and 12, 2018 and again on August 17, 18, and 19, 2018. The recreational bag limit is one red snapper per person per day. To read more about NOAA's announcement and commercial sector dates and limits click here. The opening of this season was due in large part to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council looking at alternative ways to evaluate the status of this fishery due to inadequate data for a traditional Annual Catch Limit.
The Council is actively seeking to improve this data through voluntary electronic reporting via smartphones. Anglers in South Atlantic waters can directly contribute to this effort by submitting their catches and trips for all fish species through the MyFishCount app, created by the Council in partnership with the Snook & Gamefish Foundation. ASA has worked closely with the Council to promote this effort through publications, social media, and radio outreach.
ASA, along with Yamaha and CCA, are working with the Council to develop alternative management options for private anglers that could be implemented as long-term options for South Atlantic snapper grouper species. An inaugural workshop will be held in conjunction with the September Council meeting in Charleston and followed by a series of state workshops to receive angler input, before a final report is submitted to the Council for their consideration.
For more information, please contact Florida Fisheries Policy Director, Kellie Ralston.