Charter Fishing For Red Snapper Reopening In Federal Waters

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — With nearly 24% of the for-hire recreational red snapper catch target still in the Gulf of Mexico, charter vessels can take anglers to try to catch the fish in federal waters from Oct. 15 until Nov. 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

For-hire boats with federal reef fish permits caught nearly 2.2 million pounds (998,000 kilograms) of red snapper from June 1 to Aug. 3, NOAA Fisheries said. But landings data indicate that 670,000 pounds (nearly 304,000 kilograms) of the catch target remain, the agency said in a news release Thursday.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Monday that this applies to trips in federal waters on vessels with the federal permit. State charter vessels without that permit may only fish in state waters during an open state season, the department said Monday.

Louisiana's state recreational red snapper season reopened Sept. 24 and will run until department surveys indicate that the state is nearing its total recreational quota of nearly 832,500 pounds (377,600 kilograms).

The total quota for anglers on their own is nearly 4.3 million pounds (1.9 million kilograms). It's divided among the five Gulf states, each of which sets its own recreational red snapper season for both state and federal waters.

The Gulf federal red snapper for-hire season will reopen at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Oct. 15 and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Nov. 6.

NOAA Fisheries used recent catch rates and the average weight of harvested fish to decide the number of days in the reopened season.