Anglers on Florida’s east coast can help FWC gather red snapper data

Researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are looking for anglers’ help to capture information about the Atlantic red snapper fishery.

The recreational season runs Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 10-12 in south Atlantic federal waters. Anglers are limited to one fish per person, per day, with no minimum size limit.

FWC researchers, law enforcement personnel and volunteers will be out along Florida’s east coast during each day of the season asking recreational fishers about their red snapper trips and their catch.

Researchers will also collect biological samples of harvested fish, which will not affect the fillet, to help determine the age of each red snapper.

Anglers are also encouraged to submit their catch information to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council online at MyFishCount.com, even if information has already been submitted to FWC staff in person.

The survey responses and biological samples submitted by anglers will provide researchers valuable data about the red snapper fishery. The FWC will provide information collected to the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) for the next red snapper stock assessment.

When anglers catch a tagged red snapper, FWC researchers ask that they report it to the Angler Tag Return Hotline: 800-367-4461. When calling the hotline, anglers should indicate the species, tag number, date and time of capture, catch location, fish length, type of bait used, and whether the fish was kept or released. If the fish is released, the angler is asked to leave the tag in place to help with future data collection.

Anglers are encouraged to use best handling practices on fish that are being released including descending devices or venting tools on fish that are experiencing barotrauma. Learn more about fish handling and gear at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

For more information about red snapper sampling efforts, visit MyFWC.com/Research, click on “Saltwater” and select “Recreational Fisheries.” For information on snapper rules and regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing, and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and select “Snappers.”

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