State red snapper season opens Friday

Mississippi anglers can begin catching red snapper in the state's territorial waters on Friday (May 26).

Feds agree to permanently recognize Mississippi territorial waters out to 9 nautical miles

Mississippi’s recreational red snapper season opens at 12:01 a.m. on Friday in the state’s territorial waters, which earlier this month were extended permanently to nine (9) nautical miles, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) announced on Friday.

The season will end on Sept. 4. The bag limit will be two red snapper per person per day with a minimum size of 16 inches.

DMR established a state season to offer more opportunities since federal officials announced only a three-day recreational season that begins at 12:01 a.m. on June 1 and ends at 12:01 a.m. on June 4. The federal for-hire charter boat season is 49 days, opening June 1 and ending July 20.

A key move in the state’s snapper season was settled recently when Congress made permanent its 2015 decision to temporarily recognize the state’s claim to territorial waters at nine nautical miles.

“We appreciate our congressional delegation’s efforts to make this change permanent … they know how important this is to our recreational anglers,” said Jamie Miller, executive director of DMR.

Anglers also are required to participate in MDMR’s reporting program for red snapper, “Tails n’ Scales.”

This program is available through a smartphone App, a website and a call center. The App is available in iTunes and Google Play. The website is Fishermen also can call 1-844-MSSNAPP (677-6277) to speak to a representative 24 hours a day.

Anglers must create a profile and start a trip. They must have a trip number when they are out on the water. They must report their catch and close out one trip before creating a new one.

“The purpose of this electronic reporting system is to provide fishery managers the best available data to ensure Mississippi anglers the most opportunities and greatest flexibility for red snapper harvest,” said Matt Hill, director of MDMR’s Finfish Bureau.

“This reporting system provides fishery managers with accurate and timely data that will be used for better resource management.”

About Bobby Cleveland 1342 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.