NOAA Fisheries on Tuesday announced that recreational fisherman will only be allowed to catch Red Snapper in federal waters for three days in 2017. The 2017 season will begin Thursday, June 1st and close Saturday, June 3rd.
So, if you are like most people and work during the week, or if you have kids in school and can’t go fishing during the week, you will be able to catch Red Snapper in federal waters on Saturday June 3rd. And only if the weather permits it.
However, if you are a commercial fisherman you can catch Red Snapper 365 days a year, seems fair, right? Our Federal Government continues to punish the recreational fisherman while rewarding the commercial sector of the fishing industry, and they continue to use flawed science and information gathering techniques to do so.
Over the next couple of weeks we will look at some of the information gathering techniques, sector separation and the reasons the recreational fisherman gets punished year after year when it comes to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Honestly, I don’t know why everyone is surprised by the actions of NOAA. When we allow big government to get involved and manage anything it always becomes an absolute mess.
I will leave you with this, if Red Snapper are so endangered and their population numbers are down, why is it that you can walk into any restaurant or seafood market and purchase all you can afford at anytime of year?
The good news is that in state waters we will get a 78-day Red Snapper season that will take place over a series of weekends and holidays from May until October. It looks like the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) is on the side of the recreational fisherman, and this is what we need. Opening the season on weekends and holidays allows everyone a chance to enjoy our fishery throughout the year.
Ultimately, we would like the state to manage all of our waters and tell the federal government to stay out!
James Broxson is owner of Broxson Outdoors in Navarre and a columnist for South Santa Rosa News.