Contact: Bee Frederick, Southeastern States Director
On May 30, Alabama HJR 265 – a joint resolution commending efforts undertaken to secure state management of red snapper and support state management of all recreationally important saltwater fish species – received final passage. The measure was later signed by Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Kay Ivey on June 6.
Originally introduced on May 23 by Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Representative Chris Pringle, HJR 265 specifically commends Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus member Senator Richard Shelby for his work on the appropriations language that ultimately led to the Exempted Fishing Permits; the entire Alabama Congressional delegation for their work with other Gulf states; and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) for their longstanding efforts to secure state management of the red snapper fishery. It also encourages the federal government to allow the ADCNR to manage all recreationally important species off the Alabama coastline for the benefit of Alabama’s anglers, businesses, and coastal communities.
Additionally, the resolution notes the ADCNR Marine Resources Division management efforts through “sound scientific assessment and monitoring, applied research, and enforcement programs,” and the notable distinction of Alabama boasting the largest network of artificial reefs in the United States. These efforts have produced significant habitat for marine resources and robust fisheries that significantly benefit coastal economies.
Alabama’s red snapper season, which is set for a total of 27 days, began on June 1 and will close on July 28. The season runs on weekends only (Friday – Sunday), except for July 4 weekend (Thursday – Sunday). The size limit and bag limit remain unchanged this year at two fish per person with a minimum size of 16 inches. Anglers are also required to report their catch via “Snapper Check” to ensure state managers are able to accurately represent the red snapper fishery when making season determinations.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?