As expected, officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources have announced a red snapper season for its territorial waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The 102-day season will open at 12:01 a.m. May 27 and end at 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 5.
Mississippi joins the other four states that border the Northern Gulf — Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas — to set their own seasons in their own waters outside of the record-short 9-day federal season for recreational fishermen announced in April. That season is June 1-June 9, and the for-hire boats with a federal permit have a season of June 1-July 17.
The daily limit for the state season will be the same as for the federal season — two fish per person per day with a minimum length of 16 inches.
“We want recreational anglers to have every opportunity to fish for Red Snapper,” MDMR executive director Jamie Miller said in a press release. “Opening the state season from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend gives fishermen greater flexibility to plan trips and will provide our agency with additional landings data.”
This year, the federal government has agreed to recognize Mississippi’s territorial waters out to nine nautical miles for fisheries management purposes. That should provide fishermen with more fishable snapper habitat.
Recreational anglers also are required to participate in MDMR’s reporting program, “Tails N’ Scales” through the smartphone App, the website or the call center.
The “Tails N’ Scales” App is available on iTunes and Google Play. Anglers also can go to tailsnscales.org to create a profile and plan a trip. They also can call 1-844-MSSNAPP (677-6277) to speak to a representative. Once fishermen create a trip, they must close it out before creating a new one.
“This electronic reporting system provides fishery managers with accurate and timely data that will be used for better resource management,” said Matt Hill, director of MDMR’s Finfish Bureau.