The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has approved a request by NOAA Fisheries to allow limited harvest of red snapper in the federal waters of the South Atlantic. Anglers can harvest red snapper during the following two weekends: November 3-5 and November 10-12. Each angler is allowed one red snapper per day with no size restriction.
Georgia DNR is working with NOAA Fisheries to collect data on the South Atlantic red snapper population. These data will be used to estimate harvest, discards, and fishing effort and to add to information on the age, size, and growth of red snapper in the population. There are several ways Georgia anglers can help.
Anglers can place whole filleted red snapper carcasses in chest freezers located at fishing access points along the Georgia coast (go to coastalgadnr.org/MarineCarcass to find a list of locations). A $50 Academy Sports and Outdoors Store gift card will be randomly awarded to two participants. Over the past two decades, the Marine Sportfish Carcass Recovery Project has collected thousands of fish carcasses that inform biologists of the size, age and sex of saltwater fish being harvested by anglers.
Anglers can also provide information about their red snapper fishing trips by going to MyFishCount.com and completing a short survey for each trip. The survey includes questions about the date of trip, departure location, depth fished and the number and size of fish harvested and released. Additional information on this angler reporting program, as well as other information related to the 2017 red snapper mini-season, is available at safmc.net/electronic-reporting-projects/red-snapper-reporting.
Finally, CRD staff will be conducting routine interviews with anglers at boating access points to collect information on their fishing trip and catch. Anglers are encouraged to participate in these dockside surveys by answering questions and allowing their catch to be processed for biological data.
“Anglers and guides have an opportunity to be citizen scientists by helping Georgia DNR collect data on red snapper. During the last mini-season in 2014, CRD biologists examined carcasses of 280 red snapper landed in Georgia. These fish ranged from 2 to 36 years of age with approximately 94% being younger than 10 years of age. Data from these fish will be combined with that from other South Atlantic states and available for future population assessments,” explains Spud Woodward, director of the Coastal Resources Division.
The recreational harvest of red snapper in federal waters will be allowed on the dates and times listed in the table below. During the open recreational season, the bag limit is one fish per person per day and there is no minimum size limit.
Recreational Opening Date/Time Recreational Closure Date/Time
Weekend 1 Friday, November 3 (at 12:01 a.m.) Monday, November 6 (at 12:01 a.m.)
Weekend 2 Friday, November 10 (at 12:01 a.m.) Monday, November 13 (at 12:01 a.m.)
The commercial harvest of red snapper in federal waters opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Thursday, November 2, 2017. The commercial season will end when the annual catch limit is projected to be met. NOAA Fisheries will announce the closure in their publication “Southeast Fishery Bulletin.” During the open commercial season, the trip limit is 75 pounds gutted weight and there is no minimum size limit for red snapper.
More information on red snapper regulations in federal waters can be found at www.safmc.net.
Georgia Marine Sportfish Carcass Recovery Project Freezer Locations:
Freezer Location Address City Phone
Hogan's Marina 36 Wilmington Island Rd Savannah (912) 897-3474
Bahia Blue Marina 2812 River Dr Thunderbolt (912) 354-2283
Landings Yacht Club 1 Marina Dr Savannah (912) 598-1901
Fort McAllister Marina 3203 Fort McAllister Rd Richmond Hill (912) 727-2632
Halfmoon Marina 171 Azalea Road Midway (912) 884-5819
Pine Harbor 1162 Pine Harbor Marina Rd Townsend (912) 832-5999
Two-Way Fish Camp 250 Ricefield Way Brunswick (912) 265-0410
Buccaneers Bait & Tackle 290 East Meeting St. St. Marys (912) 882-6277