Red snapper research needs help from anglers.
Red snapper are closed in Atlantic federal waters. And you can’t keep them after July 18 in the Gulf. Why not tag ‘em? Anglers can help fisheries researchers and managers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) and the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) by providing vital catch and release information for red snapper caught in Florida waters.
This information is needed to assess the status of the recreational fishery. Survey cards will be distributed by FWRI biologists at public areas along the Gulf coast of Florida, such as boat ramps, fishing piers and marinas. These survey cards are designed to collect detailed information on fishing trips targeting red snapper, including where they are caught and released, the type of fishing equipment used, and the condition of the fish when released. Anglers on the Atlantic coast can also participate by requesting a survey card in the mail, or by downloading a data sheet from MyFWC.com/Research/Saltwater.
Another way to assist in this program is to report tagged red snapper. Biologists have been tagging reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico since 2009, and a similar tagging program began this year on the Atlantic coast. By reporting tagged fish, anglers will help to improve the accuracy of estimated release survival rates for this species.
Tags are inserted near the dorsal fin of the fish and have a unique number printed on the side. When reporting a tagged fish, anglers should provide the species of fish, tag number, date and time of capture, where the fish was caught, fish length, type of bait used, and whether the fish was kept or released. If the fish is released, anglers should leave the tag in the fish so biologists can continue to collect data for future studies.
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