39-day weekends-only recreational red snapper season

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Some officials have questioned what the 2018 federal recreational season might look like if the Gulf's catch limit is exceeded during this 39-day summer season extension.

In addition to three-day weekends to pursue snapper out to 200 miles for the next 12 weeks, anglers also will be able to fish in federal waters on the Monday and Tuesday of the 4th of July holiday weekend, as well as the Monday of Labor Day.

This action, lauded by recreational fishermen across the country, reverses the recent trend of shortening the federal red snapper season.

The extended season is only effective for the 2017 season, but officials say they will be working towards long-term consistency in the red snapper season.

Information reported by fishermen could be crucial to maintaining the current season length, as well as potentially adding more days in the future. "Majority Whip Scalise and other Members of Congress were instrumental in reaching this agreement".

A charter captains' association and an environmental group have had a more muted response. The 2017 season ran for three days from June 1-3. Saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico has a $7.6 billion economic impact in Florida every year.

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The LDWF will periodically make public the overall catch totals.

The commercial sector fishes under a controversial individual fishing quota system that allows fishers to harvest their portion of the quota anytime during the year.

"This was an easy decision", Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet said.

"For years we have heard loudly and unambiguously from outraged recreational anglers who have only seen their fishing seasons get shorter in federal waters", said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director.

Still, the agency plans to continue pushing for the so-called exempted fishing permit at the August meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

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