The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal water opens Thursday, June 1. Red snapper fishing is open year-round in state waters. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged.
The regulations for red snapper are two fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and four fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters. Red snapper caught in federal waters count as part of the state bag limit of four fish. No more than 2 red snapper can be in possession while in federal waters and no more than 4 red snapper can be in possession in state waters while fishing.
Per the 2022 DESCEND Act, all commercial and recreational anglers must possess a venting tool or a rigged descending device on their boat while fishing for reef fish in federal water. Research shows that properly releasing reef fish, such as red snapper, reduces mortality. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted rules inspired by the DESCEND Act at the March 2023 Commission meeting. These new regulations go into effect September 1, for all commercial and recreational anglers fishing in state water. Texas regulations require the use of a venting tool or rigged descending device for reef fish exhibiting signs of barotrauma.
“As always, our goal is to give Texas anglers as many days as possible fishing in federal water for red snapper while still maintaining our traditional yearlong fishery in Texas state waters,” said Robin Riechers, Coastal Fisheries Division Director.
The public will be notified of the private recreational season closing date by the Coastal Fisheries Division before the state’s allotted catch limit has been reached. When a closing date is determined, all communication platforms will be updated, including the Outdoor Annual, website and social media accounts.