39-day, weekends-only recreational red snapper season
NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Commerce Department says recreational anglers in the Gulf of Mexico will have 39 more days to fish federal waters for red snapper, a popular catch that's still recovering from nearly disastrous overfishing.
Gulf state officials praised the decision to reopen the federal season off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for three-day weekends through Labor Day, plus three holidays.
However, an environmental group and a charter captains' association estimate that anglers will take nearly triple their allocated quota of the sport and panfish under the plan, potentially canceling next year's recreational season entirely.
A three-day anglers' season that started June 1 had been set because anglers went over last year's quota.