AUSTIN- The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal waters will close at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 5. State waters out to nine nautical miles will remain open with a four fish daily bag limit and a 15-inch minimum.
Under an agreement between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), TPWD can establish the opening and closing of the red snapper fishery in federal waters off Texas. TPWD uses a combination of data from creel surveys, historical landings and the iSnapper app to calculate the state’s red snapper landings each year. This system was designed to monitor harvests in a timely manner and was approved by NMFS under the Exempted Fishing Permit in 2018. As part of this agreement, Texas must close the fishery when the state’s allotted poundage is reached for the year.
“For the fourth year in a row, Texas anglers were able to enjoy more than two months of red snapper fishing in federal waters,” says Robin Riechers, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Director. “This demonstrates the ability of TPWD to effectively manage the red snapper fishery by establishing federal season lengths and most importantly being able to keep state waters open year-round.”
Results from the Harte Research Institute’s The Great Red Snapper Count estimate there are 23 million red snapper in Texas waters. This number is significantly higher than previous estimates and highlights Texas’ robust stock abundance. Moving forward, TPWD hopes to be able to work with NMFS and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to use the results from this study to better manage and sustain red snapper populations in Texas.