BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Red Snapper season ended about two weeks ago, lasting only nine days. But as of Thursday afternoon, an additional Red Snapper season is soon to come in Mississippi.
The Commission on Marine Resource met Thursday to give DMR's Executive Director Jamie Miller permission to open a season in state waters.
"We're glad to see that the Commission on Marine Resources is taking action. It's very unfortunate that this fishery is spiraling to zero for recreational anglers," CAA's Executive Director Johnny Marquez said.
According to Miller, talk about Mississippi opening its own state Red Snapper season has been a work in progress for weeks now. After getting word that Alabama is considering opening its own Red Snapper season in their state waters, Miller thought it was appropriate to get the ball rolling in our state.
"It was necessary to have our commission vote and give me the authority to do the same, if we choose to. So we gathered them together in a quickly called meeting to allow them to discuss, and ultimately vote to do that," Miller said.
Mississippi's Red Snapper season has decreased in days over the last years. With other Gulf Coast states deciding to have their own state seasons, Miller said they need to have the authority to open up their own state season, too, in order to make sure fishermen here have the same opportunities.
"We're going to sit with our resource marine biologists, some of our enforcement officers, talk about the logistics of opening a season. I think that we're confident that our fishery can sustain it. We want to make sure we communicate with the public properly. Make sure there's no confusion about state waters, and when you can fish and when you can't fish," Miller said.
DMR has also decided to allow anglers to harvest Red Snapper in state waters every weekend in July. The bag limit will be two Red Snapper per person with a minimum size of 16 inches.
DMR is compiling data from recreational fishermen to find out how much red snapper they caught this year and how long they went fishing. If you caught red snapper this year, you are being asked to fill out a questionnaire on the DMR's website: http://www.dmr.ms.gov