Red snapper season begins May 26 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Red snapper season begins May 26

Red snapper season begins this Friday, May 26 for recreational fishermen in Mississippi waters and runs through Sept. 4. (Photo source: WLOX) Red snapper season begins this Friday, May 26 for recreational fishermen in Mississippi waters and runs through Sept. 4. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The season begins soon for one of the most popular game fish in the gulf. 

Red snapper season begins Friday, May 26 for recreational fishermen in Mississippi waters and runs through Sept. 4. The federal season for recreational anglers is just three days; June 1-3.

“In the recent years, the population off of Mississippi shows to be very healthy, very strong. Our catch rates are steady. It's a healthy fishery off the state of Mississippi,” said Dr. Paul Mickle, chief scientific officer for the Department of Marine Resources.

Mississippi fishermen are reminded they are required to file trip reports, providing DMR with valuable information about the size of fish, along with where and when those fish were caught. 

Mickle says the red snapper fishery is quite healthy in Mississippi. It's vital that fishermen file the trip information with the department so they can adequately assess the ongoing health of the stock. 

“When you return back you report how long you fished, the type of structure you fished, how many fish you caught and how many people fished,” Dr. Mickle explained. “That allows us to estimate harvest levels, effort levels - how much is coming in during week days and weekends - and this goes toward what's being harvested out of Mississippi waters...it goes toward stock assessments and catch rates for the season.”

Many fishermen use DMR's free app called "Tails 'n Scales", which provides fishermen an easy way to report their catch and provide the necessary trip data that will help scientists.

“It helps us within the data we turn into NOAA. What we're hoping for is that NOAA will eventually be able to use the data that all of the states capture and they will be able to use it to have better numbers to where the federal season will be longer also,” said DMR’s Melissa Scallan.

Anglers with Apple or Android devices can download "Tails N Scales" in the iTunes App store or on Google Play, or visit www.tailsnscales.org. Users can create a profile within the App or website, and you must also close out one trip before creating a new one.

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