The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will have a special meeting at 3 p.m. Friday, June 9, to discuss the Gulf red snapper season for private recreational anglers in state and federal waters. Recent discussion between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Gulf states indicate that there may be a way to add a substantial number of additional red snapper fishing days in federal waters this summer of 2017, but Florida would have to give days to get days.
Discussions are focused on aligning a possible expanded federal water season on weekends and holidays through the summer with existing seasons for state waters across all five Gulf states, including Florida. Staff will be requesting Commission direction and guidance regarding this season alignment, which would require giving up some state waters fishing days (during the week) through the summer and possibly in the fall. These changes would apply only to private recreational anglers. No changes to the commercial or recreational for-hire seasons are being considered.
This special meeting is being held by electronic media technology, such as online and via phone, and the Commissioners will be participating remotely via conference call. There will be opportunities for the public to comment during the meeting. Information about how to participate remotely is being finalized and, when posted, will be found at MyFWC.com/About by clicking on “The Commission” and “Commission Meetings.”
“Red snapper is a popular and economically-important species in Florida, and the FWC is committed to providing as much sustainable recreational fishing opportunity as possible,” said Nick Wiley, FWC executive director. “This meeting will give our Commissioners the opportunity to discuss expanding recreational red snapper fishing opportunities in federal waters, to hear from the public and stakeholders, and provide direction to staff.”
The 2017 red snapper season for private recreational anglers in Florida federal waters was June 1-3. In state waters, the 2017 season is currently 78-days total. The season opened for Saturdays and Sundays starting May 6, and has been open daily since May 27. The season is scheduled to continue being open each day through July 9, then reopen Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, including Labor Day.