Yesterday, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced a temporary rule to re-open the 2017 private angler recreational red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico for 39 weekend days and holidays in federal waters. Earlier this month, the shortest federal red snapper season in history closed on June 4, 2017, after only being open for three days. The extension of the season was the result of an agreement reached between the five Gulf states and the Department of Commerce to bring the federal and states seasons in line for the remainder of the summer.
“We sincerely appreciate Secretary Ross and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members who worked to realize this extension and afford families additional opportunities to enjoy fishing for one of the Gulf of Mexico’s most popular sportfish,” said CSF Fisheries Program Director Chris Horton. “This announcement is welcome news for thousands of anglers who were unable to fish for red snapper in federal waters during the ridiculously short season earlier this month.”
As the red snapper population has continued to grow in both size and abundance, recreational anglers are predicted to catch their maximum allotted pounds of red snapper, known as a quota, more quickly. As a result, the seasons continue to get shorter under this system of federal fisheries management.
“While this is a positive step for 2017, we look forward to working with Members of Congress to find a long-term solution that promotes both conservation of the stock, as well as reasonable and equitable access to this important fishery for all anglers.”
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- Improve hunter and target shooter involvement in regulatory and legislative processes. (11.07%)
- Enact or expand temporary hunter education deferral programs (apprentice license programs, multiyear options, programs for all first-time hunters regardless of age, and programs promoting hunting of multiple game species). (12.92%)
- Offer shooting sports and hunter education as school activities and recreation programs. (62.73%)
- Link existing programming into family-oriented organizations (such as churches and home-school groups) where participants will have the social support to continue. (13.28%)