The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (MRD) reminds private vessel anglers that Alabama state waters and federal waters will open for red snapper fishing on Saturday, June 1. The season will consist of weekends, Friday through Sunday, June 1, 2019, to July 28, 2019, and Thursday, July 4.
The season dates listed above only apply to anglers fishing from recreational vessels and state-licensed Alabama commercial party boats that do not hold federal for-hire fishing permits. Anglers fishing from federally permitted for-hire vessels have their own 62-day season beginning June 1, 2019, at 12:01 a.m. local time through August 2, 2019, at 12:01 a.m. local time.
Under the terms of the NOAA Exempted Fisheries Permit (EFP), Alabama will use Snapper Check to monitor landings during the season and may adjust the private vessel season length to provide maximum access for fishermen, while adhering to the quota. Alabama’s 2019 private vessel quota is 1,079,573 pounds.
Anglers are reminded of the following:
- Except for the opening weekend, which begins on a Saturday, weekends are defined as 12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
- The daily bag limit will be two red snapper per person, per day with a minimum size limit of 16 inches total length.
- Anglers age 16 years and older must have an Alabama saltwater fishing license (resident or non-resident, annual or trip), or any Alabama resident 65 or older or lifetime saltwater license holder must have a current saltwater angler registration. The saltwater angler registration is free and available at www.outdooralabama.com/saltwater-fishing/saltwater-angler-registration.
- Anglers under the age of 16 are not required to be licensed or have saltwater angler registration, but their catch must be included in a landing report.
- Each vessel landing red snapper is required by law to complete one landing report per vessel trip of their harvested red snapper through Snapper Check prior to removing the fish from the boat or the boat with the fish being removed from the water. All red snapper landed in Alabama are required to be reported regardless of the jurisdiction in which they were caught.
- A landing report may be submitted through Snapper Check in the Outdoor AL app, which is available from the Apple and Android stores, or online at www.outdooralabama.com. Paper reports and drop boxes are available at select coastal public boat ramps.
- Participating in a MRD creel survey or being inspected by enforcement officers is not considered reporting. Anglers must still report through Snapper Check or fill out a paper report even if encountered by MRD staff.
- Operators of vessels with an Alabama Commercial Party Boat License without federal for-hire permits must abide by the state season and may only fish inside the 9-mile state waters line. An Alabama landing report must be completed when landing red snapper in Alabama.
- Possession of red snapper in state waters while the Alabama season is closed is prohibited. Anglers fishing under another state’s EFP 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.
Anglers on federally permitted charter vessels may fish in state waters only during the days the state season is open. They may transit with red snapper during the days state waters are closed. Once the federal season is closed they may not fish in state or federal waters. Owners/operators of federally permitted charter vessels are required to submit an Alabama red snapper landing report prior to red snapper being landed in Alabama.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.