Red snapper season is just around the corner, and fishermen couldn’t be more hopeful, especially after a short and abundant season last year. The 2012 recreational season is set to start on June 1 and will close on July 10. Although the rules are the same as last year – two fish per licensed angler with a minimum size of 16 inches – the guidelines may be changing next year.
New Plans for Red Snapper Season in 2013
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has devised a plan that will open the red snapper fishing season on the Saturday before Palm Sunday starting in 2013. There would also be a Friday-through-Sunday open season during the spring and summer weekends, and a maximum limit of three snapper per day. The best part is that recreational red snapper season would last until September, giving fishermen more time to catch red snapper.
Furthermore, there may be new guidelines as to the recreational season lengths and catch limits, especially with a new stock assessment for red snapper being due next year. It seems that there has been a decreased population of red snapper in the state waters, but there has been an explosion of red snapper along the state’s coast in the federal waters. This comes as great concern to Louisiana fishermen who see that other states like Alabama are reeling in far more pounds of red snapper than Louisiana. The new plans would also include extended fishing boundaries that could stretch by as much as ten more miles in Gulf waters.
2012 Red Snapper Season Shorter than Last Year
These changes come highly anticipated for local fishermen, many of who are disappointed that this year’s recreational season is nearly two weeks shorter than past seasons. Therefore, if half of the days have inclement weather, then only 20 days are left to catch red snapper. For most, this just isn’t enough time. Nothing is finalized yet however, and the meetings have been moved forward to a June 7 date, with more information to follow.
2012 Red Snapper Season Guidelines
For now, the 2012 recreational red snapper season is almost here, with this year set at 8 million pounds that is split between recreational and commercial waters. For recreational fishing, the expected quota is at 3.96 million pounds, and if a lot of red snapper aren’t caught during this short season, you can expect the numbers to go up even more next year. You must have a recreational fishing license and follow the guidelines of only two fish per angler, with minimum sizes of 16 inches. This is to ensure that the red snapper being caught are fully mature as these fish aren’t fully grown until they are 15 years of age. Taking too many red snapper at a young age could disrupt sustainability.
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