Anglers hoping to land more red snapper for their dinner tables take note: Federal for-hire and private recreational angler red snapper season will open in federal waters on Wednesday, June 1.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department made the announcement in a press release issued on Monday, April 25.
The red snapper season for federally permitted for-hire vessels in the Gulf of Mexico is 79 days.
The season will begin at 12:01 a.m., on June 1 and will close at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 19.
Under an agreement between the TPWD and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) signed in April 2018, TPWD can establish the opening and closing of the red snapper fishery in federal waters off the Texas coast for private recreational anglers fishing from their own vessels.
Federal waters begin nine nautical miles from shore.
The season length is determined based on the annual catch target (ACT). The ACT is the same this year as it was last year, according to the release.
In setting the season, the daily catch rate was lower from 2019 to 2021 than it had been in the recent past. Because the daily catch rate was lower, the season has increased to 79 days.
Bag and length limits differ in federal and state waters.
The daily bag limit in federal waters is two fish with a minimum length of 16 inches. In state waters, the daily limit is four with a minimum length of 15 inches.
Red snapper caught in federal waters count as part of the state bag limit of four fish.
No more than four red snapper may be in your possession while fishing in state waters and no more than two red snapper in federal waters, according to the release.
As part of the agreement between TPWD and NMFS, Texas must close the fishery when the state’s allotted poundage is reached. The red snapper season also can be closed in Texas if the Gulf-wide Total Allowable Catch (TAC) is exceeded.
TPWD asks for anglers to help monitor the TAC by using the iSnapper app available for smartphones and tablets to report red snapper landings.