The Gulf States, including Alabama, have submitted proposals for an alternative style of red snapper management for private and state charter vessel anglers during 2018 and 2019. If approved by NOAA Fisheries, each state would have the ability to establish fishing season start and end dates in federal waters off their respective state’s coast.
Under the proposals, each state has requested a portion of the total allowable catch for private recreational anglers in the Gulf and they would each be responsible for monitoring landings so they do not exceed their portion. Alabama will use Snapper Check to monitor its landings and determine if 1) the season will close as anticipated; 2) the season will close earlier than anticipated due to daily landings exceeding forecasted totals; or 3) the original season length should be increased if daily landings do not meet anticipated levels (i.e. due to smaller fish size or inclement weather).
Alabama's proposal has state and federal waters opening for weekends only (Friday–Sunday) from June 1 through September 3 (Labor Day). The season would also include the entire week of Independence Day, June 30- July 8.
These specific proposals are referred to as Exempted Fishing Permits. They will be reviewed by NOAA Fisheries and state representatives on Wednesday, Jan. 31 during the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in New Orleans.
The proposals are available for review in the following link and comments can be submitted via the link provided under the Wednesday portion of the agenda. http://gulfcouncil.org/meetings/council/january-council-meeting-2018
The season for anglers planning on fishing from a federally-permitted charter vessel this year will begin June 1 and end sometime in late July. The season will be announced by NOAA Fisheries in the coming months.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.