Dauphin Island, Ala. - The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) has begun to review data received from recreational anglers reporting red snapper landings as part of a new mandatory state reporting program. Although the nine-day federal season will not open until June 1, properly licensed Alabama anglers have begun to submit red snapper landings reports for fish caught from Florida’s state waters that opened May 24. Through Thursday, May 29, the landings database contains 68 trip records representing 268 anglers and 459 red snapper harvested. Anglers in possession of both Alabama and Florida licenses can keep red snapper caught in Florida waters and meeting Florida’s size and bag limits as long as the vessel stays in state waters and returns directly to the dock. ADCNR staff has validated trips with red snapper and collected lengths and weights.
“I am encouraged by the level of reporting that has occurred to this point,” said Chris Blankenship, Director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division. Director Blankenship recognized the reporting requirement is a minor inconvenience for anglers, but stated, “Compliance will result in better data being available to fisheries managers to make better decisions.”
ADCNR Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr., via emergency regulation, established the new program on May 13, 2014. The new regulation requires the captain or owner of a charter or private vessel with red snapper on board to report all red snapper kept and discarded dead prior to landing in Alabama regardless of where fish are caught.
Additional information required to be reported includes:
- Vessel registration
- Type of vessel (private or charter)
- County of landing (when seafood is transferred from a vessel to land or to a pier, dock, bulkhead attached to land, or when a vessel is hauled onto land via a trailer)
- Number of anglers
Only one report is required per vessel trip, and anglers can provide details via a smartphone app available under “Outdoor Alabama” in the iTunes or Google Play app stores; online at outdooralabama.com; by telephone at 1-844-REDSNAP (1-844-733-7627), or by paper forms available at select coastal public boat launches.
ADCNR continues to support Alabama’s anglers and anticipates this program will assist its efforts to maximize access to this valuable resource. For more information, contact the Alabama Marine Resources Division at 251-861-2882 or 251-968-7576.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.