The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal water officially opened this past weekend for a projected 97-days. Red snapper fishing is open year around in state waters. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged; 2 fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and 4 fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters. Under an agreement between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), TPWD can establish the opening and closing of the red snapper fishery in federal waters off the Texas coast for private recreational anglers fishing from their own vessels in 2019. The federally permitted for-hire sector, which allows recreational anglers to fish from charter boats or headboats, will remain in its current management structure set by the federal government. The federally permitted for-hire sector’s red snapper season will begin June 1, 2018 and last 62 days.
As part of this agreement, also known as an Exempted Fishing Permit, Texas must close the fishery when the state’s allotted poundage is reached. The red snapper season can also be closed in Texas waters if the Gulf-wide Total Allowable Catch is exceeded. TPWD’s Coastal Fisheries Division will be closely monitoring this fishery throughout the season and will close it when appropriate. The public will be notified of any closings through TPWD’s website, social media accounts and news releases. Help TPWD better manage this resource by downloading the iSnapper app on your smart phone and reporting your red snapper landings.