Keep Florida Fishing Praises Announcement by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to Extend 2019 Gulf Red Snapper Season

(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.)Keep Florida Fishing, an advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association, praised Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for extending the Gulf Private Recreational Red Snapper Season for an additional six weekend days (October 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27). The 2019 Gulf Red Snapper Recreational Season was previously open Tuesday, June 11 through Friday, July 12.

“Gulf red snapper season is one of the most popular times for sportfishing in Florida. On behalf of Keep Florida Fishing, we are thrilled that anglers provided valuable data through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s innovative Gulf Reef Fish Survey, thus allowing the Governor and the agency to make a science-based decision to extend Gulf Red Snapper Season for private recreational participants,” said Kellie Ralston, Southeast Fisheries Policy Director of the American Sportfishing Association.

What was once a proposed three-day federal season in 2017, expanded to 32-continuous days of recreational red snapper fishing in 2019. This is due primarily to the successful pilot program in which Florida was able to set their own recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters through an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP), issued by NOAA Fisheries. This EFP allowed FWC to test state management in both Gulf state and federal waters through the 2019 season, including data collection and quota monitoring through the Gulf Reef Fish Survey, and will continue for future seasons under the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Reef Fish Amendment 50 once final approval is granted by the Secretary of Commerce. Private recreational anglers’ mandatory participation for the Gulf Reef Fish Survey to target red snapper and other reef fish species has allowed FWC to modernize recreational data collection, thus providing science-based decisions on fisheries management.