Red Snapper

Red Snapper

Scientific Name

Lutjanus campechanus

Stock Status

Overfishing – No

Overfished – No (rebuilding)

Stock Assessment

SEDAR 52

2022 Regulations

Recreational

    • Gear:  Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.

Private

Private anglers and state guide boats without federal charter/headboat permits are managed by individual Gulf states.

    • License/permit:  State issued recreational license/angler registry

Note: the following is an unofficial compilation of different state regulations:

State Quota Season Bag Limit
Florida 31.822%

1,167,163 pounds

State and federal waters open June 17 – July 31, 2022 and Oct 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and Nov 11-13, 25-27.. 2 per person
Alabama 26.298%

1,122,662 pounds

State and federal waters open May 27, 2022 – 4 day weekends, Fri through Mon, until quota is met. 2 per person
Mississippi 3.550%

151,550 pounds

State and federal waters open 7 days per week, May 27 – July 4, 2022 (for mid-season closure). Reopening TBD. 2 per person
Louisiana 19.100%

784,332 pounds

State and federal waters open May 27, 2022, 3-day weekends, Fri-Sun, until quota is met. 3 per person
Texas 6.210%

265,105 pounds

State waters open January 1, 2022, until quota is met. Federal waters open June 1, 2022. Federal waters: 2 per person
State waters: 4 per person

Federal For-Hire

  • Season:  Open June 1 – August 19, 2022. If landings reach the federal for-hire ACL harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year.
  • Minimum Size Limit:  16 inches total length
  • Bag Limit:  2. Captain and crew may not retain a bag limit.
  • Permit:  Federal charter/headboat permit for reef fish required.

Note: the following is an unofficial compilation of different state regulations:

State Specific Red Snapper Regulations for Federally Permitted Charter/Headboat Vessels
Florida Federally permitted for-hire vessels may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state red snapper season is open. They may transit with red snapper when state waters are closed but the federal for-hire season is open.
Alabama Federally permitted for-hire vessels may fish in state waters only when the state season is open. They may transit with red snapper when state waters are closed but the federal for-hire season is open. Owners/operators of federally permitted for-hire vessels are required to possess an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement and submit an Alabama red snapper landing report prior to red snapper being landed in Alabama.
Mississippi There are no restrictions on federally permitted for-hire vessels fishing in state waters when the federal for-hire season is open. Federally permitted for-hire vessels must report with the Tails n’ Scales program.
Louisiana If the owner/operator of a federally permitted for-hire vessel also holds a Louisiana charter license, he/she may also fish state waters only when the federal for-hire season overlaps with the Louisiana season. Vessels with a valid federal charter/ headboat permit are required to have a valid Charter ROLP to possess red snapper in Louisiana waters.
Texas Federally permitted vessels can fish state waters when the federal for-hire season is open. However, federally permitted vessels must comply with the federal 2-fish per day bag limit and 16-inch minimum size limit.

NOTE: Under all circumstances, vessels with federal charter/headboat permits may not retain a recreational bag limit of red snapper unless the federal for-hire season is open.

Commercial

    • Season:  Red Snapper is managed under an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. Anyone commercially fishing for red snapper must possess allocation and follow established protocols.
    • Minimum Size Limit:  13 inches total length
    • Permit:  Commercial vessel permit for reef fish is required. Additionally, an eastern Gulf reef fish bottom longline endorsement required to use bottom longline for Gulf reef fish in the federal waters east of 85°30′ longitude.
    • Gear:  Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required when fishing with natural baits. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to remove hooks.

Harvest Limits

Sector Annual Catch Limit Annual Catch Target
Stock 15,100,000 pounds
Commercial 7,701,000 pounds 6,937,838 pounds
Total Recreational 7,399,000 pounds 5,919,000 pounds
Recreational Private 4,269,000 pounds 3,415,000 pounds
Recreational Federal For-Hire 3,130,000 pounds 2,848,000 pounds

Allocation

Allocation for Red Snapper