NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anglers across the Gulf of Mexico will be able to resume red snapper fishing in federal waters next week.
A 14-day season will open at 12:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said.
It raised the total allowable catch from 8.46 million pounds to 11 million earlier this month.
Just over half of the quota goes to commercial fishermen. NOAA Fisheries said in a brief statement Sept. 13 that commercial boat owners will get their new individual fishing quotas on or shortly after Oct. 1.
For recreational anglers, there's a two fish daily limit and a minimum size of 16 inches.
Louisiana state waters will open for the same two weeks, Robert Barham, secretary of Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said in a news release Tuesday.
Florida state waters will open for three weeks, through Oct. 22.
Mississippi and Alabama set their summer seasons this year to match the federal season. Texas waters are open year-round for the popular game fish, with a bag limit of four. Florida's waters were open 44 days in the summer. Louisiana set an 88-day weekends-only season with a limit of three.
Louisiana's weekend-only season ends Sunday. State officials remind anglers that red snapper fishing will not be allowed on Monday.
Each state sets its own season and daily bag limit for state waters; only Mississippi's and Alabama's seasons and bag limits match those in federal waters. Taking those into account, NOAA Fisheries sets the season for federal waters based on estimates of when the recreational quota will be met.
This year, it originally set four seasons — one each for Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, and one for Mississippi and Alabama. Texas and Louisiana challenged that plan, and a federal judge threw it out. The federal season wound up running June 1-28 in federal waters off all five states.
NOAA FAQ: http://1.usa.gov/15up87V