Monday, October 25, 2010

Gulf Coast Red Snapper Season Is Open & We've Gone Fishin'

In a happy turn-about for fishermen and women who enjoy the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, the red snapper season has reopened. An extended round of recreational fishing will be allowed on Fridays through Sundays for eight weeks, from October 1 through November 21, 2010.

Just as President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Sasha did in August, families are free to swim, build sandcastles, go fishing, and enjoy the local seafood.

Here, the Obamas dine at Lime's Bayside Bar and Grill in Panama City Beach, Florida (AP Photo/Susan Walsh from Naples

As we all remember, when a portion of the Gulf of Mexico was closed last spring due to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill, in addition to the financial damage that the commercial fishing industry suffered, millions of tourists were denied an opportunity to cast their nets for sport.

Recreational fishing is big business in federal waters off Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle -- especially near popular tourist destinations. The federal government has been working with the tourism industry to promote travel to the Gulf areas, and since July 22, NOAA has reopened more than 52,000 square-miles of Gulf federal waters closed due to the oil spill.

The local Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council asked NOAA's Fisheries Service to reopen the recreational red snapper season after listening to extensive public testimony from fishermen.  According to NOAA, local and visiting anglers should be able to catch the remainder of their annual quota --  3.4 million pounds of snapper -- before Thanksgiving. While that certainly doesn't sound possible given the limited fishing skills in our household, we are very happy to report that the fish are jumping!

No comments:

Post a Comment