07/02/19 – SAFMC News Release: Fishermen Encouraged to Use Best Practices & Assist with Data Collection During Red Snapper Opening


July 2, 2019
(PDF - click here)

Kim Iverson/843-571-4366/kim.iverson@safmc.net

Fishermen Encouraged to Use Best Practices and Assist with Data Collection During Red Snapper Opening


As anglers get ready to head offshore with the upcoming opening of red snapper season, there are a few things that can make your trip a success not only for you, but for the fish you release, and for fishery biologists hard at work to gather information while the season is underway.


First, know the rules. The recreational red snapper fishery will open for harvest on July 12, 13 and 14 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and again on July 19 and 20, 2019 (Friday and Saturday).  The bag limit is one fish per person/day with no minimum size limit. A reminder, dehookers are required when fishing for snapper grouper species, including red snapper. The use of non-stainless-steel circle hooks (offset or non-offset) is also required when using natural baits north of 28 degrees north latitude (just south of Melbourne, FL). Note that the number of fishing days is determined by NOAA Fisheries each year. For additional information, including a Q&A reference, visit: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/bulletin/noaa-fisheries-announces-limited-openings-recreational-and-commercial-red-snapper.


Plan ahead. Expect to release fish and know how to properly do so. Be prepared to help improve the chances that a fish captured in deeper water will survive by having a descending device rigged and ready and/or properly use a venting tool. Fish caught in deep water, typically 50 feet or greater, may experience barotrauma, an expansion of gas in the fish’s swim bladder due to pressure changes that causes damage to the swim bladder or other internal organs. When a fish suffering from barotrauma is released, it is often unable to swim back down to the depth it was captured, making it difficult to survive. No one wants to see a “floater”.  If a fish needs to be released and shows signs of barotrauma, venting or the use of a descending device will go a long way in making sure the fish is available to catch another day. Learn more at: https://safmc.net/regulations/regulations-by-species/red-snapper/.


Do your part to help improve fisheries management by using MyFishCount, a recreational reporting app and web-portal that allows anglers to voluntarily report their catches through the MyFishCount website or free mobile application. Learn more and download the app by visiting: https://www.myfishcount.com. In addition, cooperate with the fishery biologists that you may encounter dockside when you’ve finished your fishing trip. The red snapper opening offers an opportunity for staff from state marine resource agencies to collect data and learn from your fishing trips. Your cooperation during these sampling efforts will go a long way in providing better data and ultimately lead to better management.


Finally – be safe, be courteous, and enjoy your fishing trip!