The Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is reopening the red snapper fishing season at the end of the month.
The department made the announcement after the federally established quota for the annual harvest wasn’t met. In fact, the amount harvested when the season ended Sept. 4, was 15,671 pounds short of the quota.
The season will officially reopen at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 29 for four-day weekends until the remaining federal quota is met, the agency said.
“Under state management we are able to respond very quickly to the data and provide maximum access to red snapper for our anglers,” Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship said. “Under the federal system, a closure date would be estimated and then it would take several months, at a minimum, to determine how many fish were caught. We are able to make that determination in days.
“ADCNR will continue working to ensure our citizens and visitors have access to the incredible red snapper fishery off the coast of Alabama.”
Marine Resources Director Scott Bannon credited the agency’s quality control in assessing the amount remaining in the quota.
“At the end of each season we make a thorough review of the landing reports and our surveys and calculations to ensure we have an accurate accounting of how much red snapper has been landed in Alabama,” said Bannon. “These quality control measures have identified the remaining available amount of our red snapper quota. We are reopening the season to provide full access to this important fishery and to make sure we are managing it responsibly.”
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.