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States Now Officially in Charge of Red Snapper Season

The five Gulf Coast states will now be in charge of red snapper fishing size, bag, and season limits in federal waters. The permanent change from federal oversight to state governance began February 6, 2020, after an experiment that put states in charge the past two years.

A two-year experiment putting Gulf Coast states in charge of red snapper management in federal waters became permanent February 6. The U.S. Commerce Department announced that Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida will continue to set the size, bag, and season limits for red snapper fishing by private anglers in federal waters, which begin 9 miles off the Gulf coastline.

The states will be allocated separate quotas each year. If landings exceed a state’s quota one year, the number allowed the following year will be reduced by the amount of the overage. Quotas were requested by each state in its 2018-19 exempted fishing permit application.

For 2020, Texas was allotted 265,105 pounds for its quota, or 6.210 percent of total private angling of all five states. That amount ranks fourth out of five. Florida is in the No. 1 position with 1.9 million pounds for 44.8 percent of the quota.

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