Keep Florida Fishing Statement on FWC’s Efforts to Extend Three-Day Federal Gulf Red Snapper Season

(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) – Keep Florida Fishing, an advocacy arm of the American Sportfishing Association, expressed support for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) consideration of options to extend the federal Gulf red snapper season for private recreational anglers through the exchange of some state days for federal days. The possible season changes were discussed today during a special meeting held by the Commission.

“We greatly appreciate FWC’s efforts to work with the U.S. Department of Commerce for an extension of the federal Gulf red snapper season, which was just three days this year. This effort highlights the need for significant reforms at the national level in order to improve long-term access to our public resources for anglers,” said Kellie Ralston, Florida Fishery Policy Director of the American Sportfishing Association.

The Commission provided two possible season frameworks for an extended federal Gulf red snapper season. The first option is a 27-day season opening Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday, June 17 through Monday, September 4, including Monday and Tuesday, July 3-4 and Monday, September 4.

The second option is a 39-day season opening Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday, June 16 through Monday, September 4, including Monday and Tuesday, July 3-4 and Monday, September 4. The added days would require giving up some state days, either during the summer or the fall. Changes would only apply to private recreational anglers – not commercial fishing or charter boats.

The Commission will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Commerce and other states to negotiate an extended season, and an Executive Order will be issued when a final season is determined. A decision could be reached as early as next week.

The 2017 recreational red snapper season in Gulf federal waters was held June 1-3. Florida’s current 78-day state season opened on Saturdays and Sundays starting May 6, and has been open daily since May 27. The season is scheduled to continue being open each day through July 9, then reopen Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, including Labor Day.