NOAA announces limited opening of red snapper fishery

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Red snapper recreational and commercial seasons will open in South Atlantic federal waters for limited harvest in 2017 through emergency action.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council requested the opening after recent scientific information indicated a large increase in the size of the red snapper population since 2010.

NOAA Fisheries determined the limited harvest in 2017 is neither expected to result in overfishing, nor prevent continued rebuilding of the population.


The recreational sector will open for harvest on weekends only (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) on the following days:

  • November 3, 4, and 5 — The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m. Friday, and closes at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
  • November 10, 11, and 12 — The recreational season opens again at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 10, and closes at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 13.

The commercial sector will open for harvest upon implementation of the emergency rule at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, and will close at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31, unless the commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met before this date.

NOAA Fisheries will announce if the commercial sector needs to close before 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31.


For the recreational sector, the bag limit is one red snapper per person per day. This applies to private and charterboat/headboat vessels (the captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit).

For the commercial sector, the trip limit is 75 pounds gutted weight.

There are no minimum size limits for the recreational and commercial sectors.

The recreational and commercial catch limits are 29,656 fish and 124,815 pounds whole weight, respectively.