South Atlantic Red Snapper to Reopen

Red snapper — a fishery that has been closed for three years now — is set to reopen in September of 2012 with a limited season.

The South Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council (SAMFC) met in June of 2012 and discussed the options of a short season for red snapper in the South Atlantic. The SAMFC recommended to NOAA Fisheries that a limited harvest period be permitted on the East Coast.

South Atlantic Red Snapper to Reopen

The season will consist of two, three-day weekends for recreational anglers, along with a small commercial harvest.

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) supported the opening if doing so would not delay the rebuilding plan or do harm to the stock. CCA told the Council that this fishery is a good candidate for management as primarily a recreational fishery in the South Atlantic, and that the greatest overall benefit to the country would be achieved by allocating most, if not all, of the catch to the recreational fishery.

NOAA Fisheries set the new recreational fishing seasonto open for two consecutive weekends made up of Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. This season pertains to the South Atlantic Ocean only.

The recreational red snapper season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 14, 2012, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 17, 2012; the season then reopens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 21, 2012, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on September 24, 2012.

During the open recreational season, the bag limit is one fish per person per day and there is no minimum size limit for the red snapper.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its research institute (FWRI) will be very involved in data collection on the east coast of Florida. The FWRI is asking that recreational fishermen help with the data as they fish for red snapper in the Atlantic Ocean.

The FWRI has set up drop off locations along the coast for red snapper carcasses. The Institute will gather critical data from the carcasses, such as age and growth rates, along with the overall health of the fishery.

Please do your part for the fishery and instead of throwing the carcass out put them back on ice and take the carcasses to one of the confirmed drop-off locations along the east coast of Florida.

Drop Off Locations

Cumberland Sound:
Fernandina Harbor Marina
3 S. Front Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

St. Johns River entrance:
Sister Creek Boat Ramp
8364 Heckscher Dr.
Jacksonville, FL, 32226

Saint Augustine:
Conch House Marina
57 Comares Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32080

Ponce Inlet:
Inlet Harbor Marina
133 Inlet Harbor Road
Ponce Inlet, FL 32127

Fishin’ Cove Marina
111 N Riverside Drive
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168

Port Canaveral:
Sunrise Marina
505 Glen Cheek Drive
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

Fort Pierce Inlet:
Snook Nook
3595 Northeast Indian River Drive
Jensen Beach, FL 34957

South Atlantic Red Snapper to Reopen