Mississippi’s on-again and off-again recreational red snapper season will soon be open again as the quota remains unfilled after the last weather-nullified opportunity failed to produce many fish.
The state’s Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) announced that the season will reopen at 12:01 a.m. Friday and close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday (Sept 14-16) in both federal and state waters. By reopening the season, fishermen will be legal to port in Mississippi with lawfully caught red snapper.
After closing the season in August as fishermen neared the buffer zone created to protect overreaching the federally imposed creational quota of 135,149 pounds, MDMR had determined enough weight remained to reopen the season for the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 1-2). However, rough weather and high seas kept most fishermen in port on those days. The agency did not report any weight totals in its press release.
According to MDMR’s most recent announcement, “harvest totals from the Tails ’n Scales reporting system indicate the annual catch target for the private recreational fishery is projected to be reached by the end of the weekend on Sunday, Sept. 16. However, the MDMR has the authority to adjust the recreational red snapper season if finalized landings indicate additional harvest would remain within the quota allowed under the Federal Exempted Fishing Permit or for any other reason such as inclement weather or due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Tails ’n Scales is the federally approved program MDMR uses to track red snapper landings. Fishermen must download the app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play and use it to create each snapper fishing trip. At the end of the trip, fishermen must report their catch.
An updated version (3.31) of Tails ’n Scales is now available that will simplify the trip and reporting process during the extended season.