The federal waters off the coasts of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Zone, which includes both Carolinas, will open up to recreational fishing for red snapper for six days next month. The season will run Aug. 10 through Aug. 12, then again on Aug. 17 through Aug. 19.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, along with NOAA, approved the split season after looking at scientific data which shows an increase in the red snapper population over the past decade. This information helped them determine that a limited harvest will not result in overfishing or hinder the progress toward rebuilding a sustainable population that has already been made.
For recreational anglers in the Carolinas, this means they can harvest red snapper beginning one minute after midnight on Aug. 10 until one minute after midnight on Aug. 13. They can begin harvesting the fish again at one minute after midnight on Aug. 17 until one minute after midnight on Aug. 20.
The bag limit for anglers will be one red snapper per person, per day. This limit applies to private and for-hire vessels like charter boats and headboats, and the captains and crew members of these vessels are allowed that same limit.
No minimum or maximum size limit will be imposed during the red snapper season, so anglers can keep any size fish they desire for their daily limit.
The red snapper harvest has also been opened up to the commercial fishing sector. They will abide by a 75-pound, gutted weight limit per trip. Their season begins on July 26 and will run through Dec. 31, unless the commercial harvest limit of 124,815 pounds is met at an earlier date.