Red Snapper Regulations

Red Snapper

Red Snapper

Lutjanus campechanus

AKA:

Mules, Sow Snapper, Spot Snappers (small)

Managed by:

SAFMC


Physical description:

Color pinkish red over entire body, whitish below; long triangular snout; anal fin sharply pointed; no dark lateral spot; red eye.


Biological description:

Found OFFSHORE on the continental shelf. Juveniles occur over sandy or mud bottoms; adults may live more than 20 years, and attain 35 pounds or more; sexual maturity attained at age 2; spawns June to October; feeds on crustaceans and fish.


Want additional information about the 2018 red snapper season? Click Here!

Commercial

  • The commercial sector opened for harvest upon publication of the final rule at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 26, 2018, and will close at 11:59 p.m., local time, on December 31, 2018, unless the commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met before this date.
    • NOAA Fisheries will announce if the commercial sector needs to close before December 31, 2018.
    • The commercial annual catch limit will be 124,815 pounds whole weight (12,854 fish).
      • The commercial trip limit will be 75 pounds gutted weight. (trip limits are per day - if a vessel makes multiple trips per day, the 75lbs (gw) trip limit can only be harvested once per day
    • No minimum size limit
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • The commercial harvest of red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic requires a federal commercial snapper grouper permit. Permitted vessels must also adhere to coast guard requirements for commercial vessels. To learn more about how to acquire a permit, please visit the following link: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/operations_management_information_services/constituency_services_branch/permits/permit_apps/index.html
    • All species must be landed with head and fins intact.
    • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is required for all species in the snapper grouper complex when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits in waters North of 28 degrees N. latitude.
    • After the commercial quota is met, all purchase and sale is prohibited and harvest and/or possession is limited to the recreational bag limit. This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed, and sold prior to the quota being reached and held in cold storage by a dealer. Quotas are given in gutted weights.
    • Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol.
    • Charter/Headboat and Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. Click here to learn more or call 727-824-5312.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) – This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Commercial ACLs (quotas) from NOAA Fisheries.

 

Recreational

  • CLOSED
  • The recreational sector opened for harvest in 2018 on weekends only (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) on the following days:
    • August 10, 11, and 12, 2018 – The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 10, 2018, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 13, 2018.
    • August 17, 18, and 19, 2018 – The recreational season opens again at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 17, 2018, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 20, 2018.
    • The recreational annual catch limit: 29,656 fish.
      • The recreational bag limit: one red snapper per person per day.  This applies to private and charterboat/headboat vessels (the captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit).   
      • No minimum size limit
  • Regulatory Remarks:
    • All species must be landed with head and fins intact.
    • Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use dehooking tools when fishing for snapper grouper species.
    • The use of non-stainless steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is required for all species in the snapper grouper complex when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits in waters North of 28 degrees N. latitude.
    • The sale of bag-limit caught snapper grouper species is prohibited.
    • Charter/Headboat and Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. Click here to learn more or call 727-824-5312.
    • Annual Catch Limit (ACL) - This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Recreational ACLs from NOAA Fisheries.

Click Here for Red Snapper Regulatory Information from Previous Years