Reef Fish Angler Check List:
All saltwater anglers who fish off the coast of Alabama will need the following fishing license, endorsement, and registration.
1. ALABAMA SALTWATER FISHING LICENSE
- All must have a valid Alabama saltwater fishing license, as required, when in possession of any saltwater fish species in Alabama waters. For information about saltwater license packages visit our All-Access license package page.
2. REEF FISH ENDORSEMENT
- A Reef Fish Endorsement is required for all resident and non-resident anglers 16 years of age and older, and includes disabled, veterans appreciation, 65 and older, lifetime license holders, pier licenses, annual saltwater licenses, trip licenses, commercial fishermen, and charter boats.
3. SALTWATER ANGLER REGISTRATION (NO COST)
- Free Saltwater Angler Registration is required for all residents 16 and over who take, catch, kill, or possess fish or attempt to catch, kill or possess fish in the saltwater jurisdiction of Alabama. This includes residents who are not required to purchase an annual saltwater license such as those over the age of 64, have a lifetime saltwater license or fish exclusively on a pier that has purchased a pier fishing license.
4. DESCEND ACT
- The DESCEND Act went into effect on January 13, 2022, which requires anglers to have either a venting tool or descending device rigged and ready to use when fishing for and/or possessing reef fish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Return 'Em Right is a new program that aims to improve survival of released reef fish by providing anglers with both the knowledge and tools to help return fish to the bottom. Visit their website at returnemright.org for more information on how to receive reef fish release gear for free. ($100 value)
- Harvested red snapper, greater amberjack, and gray triggerfish must be reported on one Snapper Check report per vessel trip before fish are landed in Alabama.
- Possession of red snapper, greater amberjack, and gray triggerfish in state waters while the Alabama season is closed is prohibited. Anglers fishing under another state’s season must abide by that state’s rules and land fish in that state. Individuals on vessels with red snapper may not transit Alabama state waters while the Alabama season is closed.
Reef Fish FAQs:
We are currently updating the FAQs for reef fish reporting. If you have any questions, please contact the Marine Resources Division at (251) 861-2882 (Dauphin Island) or (251) 968-7576 (Gulf Shores).