With the recreational red snapper season quota now divided between private anglers and for-hire vessels in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Thursday the 2015 season framework for both sectors.
Private anglers will have a 10-day season in federal waters with a catch target of 3.234 milion pounds of red snapper, and will fish from Monday, June 1, at 12:01 a.m. until Thursday, June 11, at 12:01 a.m.
Federal for-hire vessels will have a 44-day season in federal waters and divide 2.371 million pounds from Monday, June 1, at 12:01 a.m. until Wednesday, July 15, at 12:01 a.m., according to a NOAA news release.
In federal waters, the red snapper bag limit is again two fish with a 16-inch minimum total length size limit, the release states.
For 2015, the red snapper allowable catch increased from 11 mp to 14.3 million pounds, with the commercial quota at 7.29 million pounds and the recreational quota - which is now split between private anglers and for-hire vessels - at 7.01 million pounds.
However, the Gulf of Fishery Management Council recently established a catch target that is less than the recreational quota, which is designed to prevent the sector from surpassing its allotted quota.