Mississippi’s red snapper season will open for private recreational anglers and state for-hire vessels at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020, in state and federal waters. The season will be open seven days a week.
Private recreational anglers can fish out to 200 nautical miles. State for-hire charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter/headboat permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper within state territorial waters, which is nine nautical miles south of the barrier islands. A map showing that boundary is available on the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) website at dmr.ms.gov/snapper/.
One angler per vessel, per trip is required to report through the MDMR Tails n’ Scales system. Anglers may register their account through a smartphone app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or online at tailsnscales.org. Returning Tails n’ Scales users must download the most recent update of the app for the 2020 season. Tails n’ Scales administrators can be contacted for assistance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (228) 325-1585.
One angler onboard the vessel must have a trip prior to departure, have the active trip authorization number available when they are out on the water and report when the trip is complete. Anglers will not be able to create a new trip until the previous trip’s report has been submitted.
The data collected through Tails n’ Scales allows MDMR fisheries managers to monitor harvest in near real-time and provides Mississippi anglers increased opportunity and flexibility to harvest red snapper.
The season will close if the assigned quota for Mississippi is reached at any point after the season opens. It will also close if the Gulf-wide quota is reached.
As a reminder, Marine Patrol officers encountering anglers fishing for or possessing red snapper without a trip authorization number will result in fish confiscation and fines.
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