JULY 11, 2019

Florida FWC Seeks Help in Gathering East Coast Red Snapper Data

FWC seeks anglers’ help gathering red snapper data along Florida’s east coast

Researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are looking for anglers’ help to capture information about the Atlantic red snapper fishery.

The 2019 recreational season in Atlantic federal waters is July 12-14 and July 19-20. Anglers are limited to one fish per person, per day, with no minimum size limit.

FWC researchers and volunteers will be out along Florida’s east coast during each day of the season asking recreational fishers about their red snapper trips and their catch.

Researchers will also collect biological samples of harvested fish, which will not affect the fillet, to help determine the age of each red snapper.

Anglers are also encouraged to submit their catch information to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council online at MyFishCount.com, even if information has already been submitted to FWC staff in person.

The survey responses and biological samples submitted by anglers will provide researchers valuable data about the red snapper fishery. The FWC will provide information collected to theSoutheast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) for the next red snapper stock assessment.

If anglers catch a tagged red snapper, FWC researchers ask that they report it to the Angler Tag Return Hotline: 800-367-4461. When calling the hotline, anglers should indicate the species, tag number, date and time of capture, catch location, fish length, type of bait used, and whether the fish was kept or released. If the fish is released, the angler is asked to leave the tag in place to help with future data collection.

Anglers are encouraged to use best handling practices on fish that are being released including descending devices or venting tools on fish that are experiencing barotrauma. Learn more aboutfish handling and gear at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Fish Handling.”

For more information about red snapper sampling efforts, visit MyFWC.com/Research, click on “Saltwater” and select “Recreational Fisheries.” For information on snapper rules and regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Marine, and click on “Snappers” under the “Reef Fish” tab.