Fishermen in the Carolinas and other South Atlantic states will have eight days to catch red snapper this month, it was announced this week.
Federal fisheries managers said the recreational season will be made up of two 3-day weekends and one 2-day weekend: July 11-13, 18-20 and 25-26. Fishing will open at 12:01 a.m. the first day and close at midnight the last day.
The recreational catch limit for the Carolinas, Georgia and the Atlantic coast of Florida for 2014 is 22,576 fish. The bag limit is one fish per person per day, and there is no minimum size limit for red snapper.
The 2014 commercial red snapper season will open at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 14, with no projected closing date. The commercial catch limit is set at 50,994 pounds gutted weight; the season will close when this limit is estimated to be approached. The commercial daily trip limit is 75 pounds, gutted weight, and there is no minimum size limit.
NOAA Fisheries may change the dates if tropical storm or more severe weather is forecast, or if severe weather conditions exist.
Limited snapper seasons the past several years have been allowed because federal fishery managers found lower-than-expected effort in snapper-grouper fisheries and discard mortality lower than projected. That projects a faster recovery for red snapper and a higher population.
Recreational fishermen didn’t reach their quota in the 2012 and 2013 mini-seasons, so the catch limit for 2014 is more than twice the 2013 allowance.