ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Recreational and commercial fishermen in Carteret County will have an opportunity to fish for red snapper is mid-July in federal waters off North Carolina.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service announced June 5 the season opening dates for red snapper in the federal waters of the south Atlantic, located between 3-200 miles offshore. In additional to the dates, the fisheries service also announced the recreational season length.
According to the NMFS announcement, for the 2020 red snapper season, the recreational sector will open for harvest Friday, July 10, Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12. The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m. July 10 and closes at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 13.
At 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 17 the recreational season opens again and closes at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 18.
Meanwhile, the red snapper commercial sector will open for harvest at 12:01 a.m. July 13 and close at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, unless the commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met before this date.
If the commercial sector needs to close before Jan. 1, the fisheries service will announce it in the Federal Register and publish another bulletin.
The limited openings are based on the final rule for Amendment 43 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. The final rule specified recreational and commercial annual catch limits for red snapper beginning in 2018 and subsequent years.
During the limited opening seasons, the total annual catch limit will be 42,510 fish. The recreational annual catch limit will be 29,656 fish.
The recreational bag limit will be 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).
The commercial annual catch limit will be 124,815 pounds whole weight (12,854 fish). The commercial trip limit will be 75 pounds gutted weight.
There will be no minimum or maximum size limits for the recreational or commercial sectors.
More information on red snapper limited openings is available by contacting NMFS representative Frank Heiles by regular mail at NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5305, by phone at 727-824-5305 or by fax at 727-824-5308.