The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has approved a request by NOAA Fisheries to allow limited harvest of red snapper in the federal waters of the South Atlantic.
Anglers can harvest red snapper during the following three weekends: July 11-13, July 18-20 and July 25-26.
Each angler is allowed one red snapper per day with no size restriction.
Georgia DNR is working with NOAA Fisheries to collect data on the South Atlantic red snapper population.
These data will be used to estimate harvest, discards, and fishing effort and to determine the age, size, and growth of red snapper in the population. There are several ways that Georgia anglers can help.
Anglers and fishing guides can place filleted red snapper carcasses in chest freezers located at fishing access points along the Georgia coast (go to www.coastalgadnr.org to find a list of locations).
One lucky angler or guide who participates in this special effort will receive a $100 Bass Pro Shops gift card. Over the past decade, the Marine Sportfish Carcass Recovery Project has collected thousands of fish carcasses that inform biologists of the size, age and gender of saltwater fish being harvested by anglers. Each freezer has catch cards and plastic bags to be used by participating anglers.
Anglers can also provide information about their red snapper fishing trips by going to www.coastalgadnr.org and completing a short survey for each trip. The survey includes questions about the date of trip, length of trip and departure location, as well as depth fished and the number and size of fish harvested and released.
Finally, CRD staff will be conducting routine interviews at boating access points so they can intercept red snapper anglers to collect information on their fishing trip and catch. Anglers are encouraged to participate in these dockside surveys by answering questions and allowing their catch to be processed for biological data.
Anglers and guides have an opportunity to be citizen scientists by helping Georgia DNR collect data on red snapper. Last year, 86 red snapper landed in Georgia were examined by biologists to determine size, age, and gender.
“These fish ranged from 1 to 25 years of age with approximately 91 percent being 10 years old or younger. Data from these fish will be combined with that from other South Atlantic states in an upcoming population assessment,” said Spud Woodward, director of the Coastal Resources Division.
During the open recreational season, the bag limit is one fish per person per day and there is no minimum size limit.
More information on red snapper regulations in federal waters can be found at www.safmc.net.