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Additional fall recreational red snapper dates announced

Staff Report
The News Herald

PANAMA CITY —  Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the opening of five additional recreational red snapper dates for fall for private recreational anglers and state for-hire operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

The additional dates include  Nov. 21 and 22 and over the Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27, 28 and 29.

According to a press release, during these dates, private recreational anglers may harvest red snapper in Gulf state and federal waters. However, state for-hire operations are limited to fishing for red snapper in Gulf state waters only.

"Saltwater license-free fishing day is also Nov. 28, a great time for Florida’s residents and visitors to try out fishing in Florida without needing a license,” FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton said in the press release.

Brandon Stowe is shown with this nice Red Snapper he caught off Panama City Beach aboard the Reef Dog 3.

“Gulf red snapper season is one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World,” DeSantis said in the press release. “I’m pleased to offer these additional fishing opportunities so close to Thanksgiving weekend, which is a great time to reconnect with family and friends and take advantage of Florida’s abundant coastline.”

The additional days are possible through the State Reef Fish Survey. The SRFS was developed to provide better data for management of red snapper and other important reef fish and has allowed FWC the opportunity to manage Gulf red snapper in state and federal waters.

The FWC asks that if you are planning to participate in the additional fall season that you register and participate in the survey. 

 All anglers over 16 years old fishing from private recreational vessels must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler to target red snapper and several other reef fish in state and federal waters, even if they are exempt from fishing license requirements, the release said.

The is no cost to sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler and you can do so at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or by visiting any location you can purchase a license.

The release also stated that State Reef Fish Anglers may receive a questionnaire in the mail regarding their reef fish trips as part of Florida’s State Reef Fish Survey. They ask that if you receive a survey, that you please respond whether you fished this season or not or whether you’ve submitted data via other methods.

To learn more about the recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters, including season size and bag limits, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers,” which is under the “Regulations by Species – Reef Fish” tab.