Anglers Catch Their Limit During Red Snapper Season
By Capt. Joe Palermo // August 10, 2014
FWC, NOAA opened RED SNAPPER SEASON in July
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – After a long, drawn-out four-year moratorium on Red Snapper in the Atlantic federal waters, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to open this fishery in July to both recreational and commercial anglers in an attempt to gather information on stock numbers.
Recreational anglers were able to harvest one snapper per person with no size limit on July 11 –13; July 18 – 20; July 25 – 26, and commercial anglers were allotted 75 pounds (gutted weight) per day from July 14 until the annual catch limit of 50,994 is met.
CHARTER BOATS BOOKED UP
After the news of the opening, charter boats were immediately booked up and anglers throughout Central Florida dusted off their boats and prepared for a long weekend of overdue snapper fishing.
In an effort to take full advantage of the harvest, FWC researchers and volunteers were in full force observing catches, surveying anglers, and collecting biological samples to aid in the studies and assessments of future fishery openings.
During the federal opening in 2013, biologists were able to sample more than 10,000 red snapper and expected to sample significantly more this year.
Although the specific data has not been released from the recreational and commercial opening, most anglers were able to catch their limit with ease everyday and will hopefully prove to biologists that this fishery is stronger than it has ever been, giving anglers more opportunity and longer openings to harvest in years to come.