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Results from Red Snapper Research on the Atlantic Coast

Researchers at FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) rely on recreational anglers and professional captains to help them gather important information about the Atlantic Red Snapper fishery. The Red Snapper stock was determined to be overfished in 2009 and, as the Atlantic population continues to recover, recreational harvest of Red Snapper has only opened for short periods over one to three weekends in recent years. The seasons provide an opportunity for researchers in Florida to collect biological data from harvested Red Snapper that helps monitor the stock’s recovery. The information is used to provide fishery managers with a precise estimate of the numbers of Red Snapper harvested during the recreational season to ensure fishing is sustainable.

Number of private boat trips intercepted by FDM samplers by inlet.

Number of private boat trips intercepted by FDM samplers by inlet.

Over the five days that the 2019 Atlantic Red Snapper season was open, FWRI researchers interviewed over 900 private and over 100 charter boat parties returning from fishing for Red Snapper at inlets on the east coast of Florida. Those anglers allowed biologists to weigh and measure over 2,100 Red Snapper across the region.

Number of red snapper biological samples (length, weight, otoliths) by inlet for the private boat sector

Number of red snapper biological samples (length, weight, otoliths) by inlet for the private boat sector

Number of red snapper biological samples (length, weight, otoliths) by inlet for the charter boat sector.

Number of red snapper biological samples (length, weight, otoliths) by inlet for the charter boat sector.

FWRI researchers appreciate anglers and captains who took the time to participate in surveys and allowed biologists to sample their catch. The Red Snapper sampling effort on the east coast of Florida is a great example of scientists, anglers, spear fishers, and charter captains working together to collect high quality data to manage Florida’s fisheries.

Additional Information:

Atlantic Red Snapper Regulations

What Do I Do If I Catch a Tagged Fish?

Latest Red Snapper Stock Assessment

Catch-and-Release Tips