AUSTIN –Texas recreational anglers will have just 10 days to catch the popular sport fish in Gulf of Mexico federal waters this summer unless they hire a charter vessel under new framework announced by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
The recreational season in federal waters is set for June 1-10, while a new for-hire charter recreational season will run June 1-July 14. The daily bag limit for red snapper caught in federal waters is 2 with a minimum length limit of 16 inches. In Texas state waters out to nine nautical miles, there is no closed season on red snapper and the daily bag limit is 4 with a 15-inch minimum.
The new recreational red snapper sector division framework is the result of recent passage of Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Amendment 40 by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Amendment 40 divides the recreational fishery quota between private recreational anglers fishing off of federally-permitted vessels and those who fish off of their own boat. The commercial red snapper fishing segment is not affected by the amendment.
Anglers can assist in the effort to track Texas landings of red snapper this season by reporting their catches. This year, TPWD is partnering with the Harte Research Institute in a voluntary electronic reporting system that will enable anglers to report landings online and through a new mobile app. The new mobile app is available for download now and anglers can begin reporting their red snapper catch. More information is available at www.iSnapper.org.