The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will continue to collect red snapper
carcasses from recreational fishermen through an extension of this year’s
mini-season to help federal officials better assess the population and health of
The National Marine
Fisheries Service announced it will reopen the recreational red snapper season
for a third, three-day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Dec. 8-11 with a
one-fish bag limit and no size limit. The agency originally opened recreational
red snapper harvest for two, three-day weekends in November; however, preliminary estimates indicate that the catch limit was not
caught, likely due to inclement weather. To read the National Marine Fisheries
Service bulletin on the reopening, go here.
The division will
maintain freezers at 20 locations along the coast where fishermen can take their
carcasses. In return, the angler will receive a citation (certificate) from the
N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament.
map of these locations, go here.
leave the head and tail intact on the fish carcass. Instructions on how to
deposit the carcasses are posted on each freezer. Anglers will be asked to give
information related to how and when the fish was caught. Fishermen also will be
asked for their names and addresses to receive their reward and citation.
will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the otoliths
(ear bones) to determine the fish’s age. The information collected will be
provided to the National Marine Fisheries Service for use in future red snapper
stock assessments. Stock assessments rely on a variety of information, including
biological data, to provide an understanding of a species’ population.
regulations for recreational red snapper harvest, go here. Also, recreational fishermen are encouraged to
voluntarily report their landings electronically through the South Atlantic
Fishery Management Council’s MyFishCount web portal here.
Regulations for the
commercial mini-season, which opened Nov. 2 with a 75-pound gutted weight trip
limit, remain unchanged. It will close Dec. 31 or when the commercial quota is
met (whichever comes first). Division biologists will obtain data from
commercially-caught red snapper at the fish houses. Commercially-caught
carcasses should not be left in the freezers listed above.
information on the division’s Red Snapper Carcass Collection Program, go here, or contact Carole Willis, division
sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or [email protected].