red snapper

A red snapper is released by Sea Grant researchers.

A team of university and government scientists, selected by an expert review panel convened by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, will conduct an independent study to estimate the number of red snapper in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“I look forward to the insights this project will provide as we work to study and manage this valuable resource,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Communities around the Gulf of Mexico depend on the availability of healthy red snapper stocks to support their livelihoods.”

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Believe it or not, NOAA Fisheries is giving recreational fishermen three whole days to go after red snapper in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the shortest snapper season in history and is a direct slap in the face to all salty recreational anglers, and a huge favor for commercial fishing. How could a federal agency be so out of touch with the taxpaying citizens that keep them in business? One of our Texas politicians said last week, “Red snapper is a manmade fishery management disaster.”

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For the time being, the recreational red snapper season is closed in federal wat

The recreational red snapper fishing season is closed once again after a grueling nine days – most of which were too rough for many boats to go offshore. But we did get a huge break. Out of the goodness of their heart NOAA Fisheries extended the season an extra two days because of the lack of fishing opportunity we had due to Tropical Storm Colin. They are so nice, and so out of contact with the real world.

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The nine-day recreational red snapper season is open through June 10.

The water temperature on Sabine Lake is in the lower 80s, and as of last week catches of trout, reds and flounder were stupid good, according to guide Colby Denbow with Sabine Lake Lodge.

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Robert Sloan photo

Just recently, NOAA Fisheries opted to give recreational anglers a nine-day red snapper season that left anglers along the entire Gulf Coast red in the face with frustration.

Based on the annual catch targets and accounting for the red snapper harvest in state waters outside the federal season, the federal season for the private angling component will be nine days, and the federal season for the federally permitted for-hire boats will be 46 days. The commercial red snapper season runs year-round using its privatized catch share system.

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For the first time in over 80 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a 90-day dove season in Texas for 2016-17. That means we’ll be getting an additional 20 days of hunting during the fall, plus we’ll get to keep 15 doves per day. Also, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is recommending a later opener for duck hunting, with a shorter break between splits for the North Duck Zone and a later overall season in the South Duck Zone. This is all part of the statewide hunting proclamation for Migratory Game Birds that is up for public comment.

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Beaumont’s John Blackwell and Earl Frost caught this huge snapper and a lot more

Red snapper are structure-oriented reef fish, which is why you can find them around the many oil and gas production platforms up and down the Texas coast. One thing is certain: Nothing attracts and holds more snapper than the structure beneath an oil and gas rig. But truth be known, snapper aren’t always directly under a rig. In fact, on many offshore trips, we have found the best snapper to be upward of 100 yards from a rig.

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Red snapper and fisherman

There is a shot of good news for offshore anglers. Federal waters, out past 9 nautical miles, will open for snapper fishing on June 1.

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Red snapper

It’s as if the Gulf Council with the National Marine Fisheries Service is trying to drive a wedge between the charter/for-hire and private recreational angler as a solution to the inept federal management of red snapper. One thing is certain: Recreational anglers across the Gulf Coast are letting it be known that they are not happy with the direction of red snapper management in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Just to give you an example of how good the fast approaching gun season on deer will be, check this out. Bow hunters recently tagged two huge bucks. One taken in the Pineywoods scored 163 Boone & Crockett points. Another taken in South Texas scored 183 B&C points. That’s a good indication this deer season could deliver some outstanding bucks.

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