Council votes to open limited red snapper season - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Council votes to open limited red snapper season

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

After years of an almost complete moratorium, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted 12 to 1 Monday to open a limited 2017 red snapper fishing season in the South Atlantic. If approved by NOAA Fisheries, the season will likely begin in mid-to-late October.

It will be the first time since 2014 that anglers have been allowed to keep red snapper caught in federal waters off the coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia, and the east coast of Florida.

"We've consistently heard from our constituents about the increasing number of red snapper encountered and concerns that harvest has been prohibited for the past four years," said Council Chair, Dr. Michelle Duval. "The majority of comments support allowing a limited harvest of red snapper."

If the council's request is approved by NOAA Fisheries, recreational fishing will open for an estimated 6-12 days over a period of three-day weekends. Anglers will be allowed to keep one red snapper per trip with no size limit. Commercial fishing will reopen with a 75-pound trip limit.

A decision is expected in the coming weeks and will be announced by NOAA Fisheries.

The Council also voted Monday to open a brief 4-7 day season in 2018, likely in July.

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