The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Marine Resources Division (MRD) reminds private vessel anglers that Alabama state waters and federal waters will open for red snapper fishing on Friday, May 22. The season will consist of four-day weekends, Friday through Monday, May 22, 2020, to July 19, 2020.
The season dates listed above only apply to anglers fishing from recreational vessels and state-licensed Alabama commercial party boats that do not hold federal for-hire fishing permits. Anglers fishing from federally permitted for-hire vessels have their own 62-day season beginning June 1, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. local time through August 2, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. local time.
As in recent years, MRD will use Snapper Check to monitor landings during the season and may adjust the private vessel season length to provide maximum access for fishermen, while adhering to the quota. Alabama’s 2020 private vessel quota is 1,122,662 pounds.
Anglers are reminded of the following:
Weekends are defined as 12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Monday. The season will close on Sunday, July 19, at 11:59 p.m.
The daily bag limit will be two red snapper per person, per day with a minimum size limit of 16 inches total length.
Anglers over the age of 16 must have an Alabama saltwater fishing license (resident or non-resident, annual or trip), or any Alabama resident 65 or older or lifetime saltwater license holder must have a current saltwater angler registration. The saltwater angler registration is free and available at www.outdooralabama.com/saltwater-fishing/saltwater-angler-registration.
All anglers 16 years of age and older (resident or non-resident) who possess gulf reef fish, including red snapper, must have an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement which is available at www.outdooralabama.com/license-information.
Anglers under the age of 16 are not required to be licensed, possess an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement or have a saltwater angler registration, but their catch must be included in a landing report.
Each vessel landing red snapper in Alabama is required by law to complete one landing report per vessel trip of their harvested red snapper through Snapper Check prior to removing the fish from the boat or the boat with the fish being removed from the water. All red snapper landed are required to be reported regardless of the jurisdiction in which they were caught.
Red snapper caught from non-powered vessels, piers and the shoreline are required to be reported through Snapper Check and require a Conservation ID number. For information on how to obtain a Conservation ID, visit www.outdooralabama.com/hunter-resources/how-obtain-conservation-id-number.
A landing report may be submitted through Snapper Check in the Outdoor AL app, which is available from the Apple and Android stores or online at www.outdooralabama.com. Paper reports and drop boxes are available at select coastal public boat ramps.
Participation in a MRD creel survey or being inspected by enforcement officers is not considered reporting. Anglers must still report through Snapper Check or fill out a paper report even if encountered by MRD staff.
Operators of vessels with an Alabama Commercial Party Boat License without federal for-hire permits must abide by the state season, possess an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement and may only fish inside the 9-mile state waters line. An Alabama landing report must be completed when landing red snapper in Alabama.
Possession of red snapper in state waters while the Alabama season is closed is prohibited. Anglers fishing under another state’s red snapper season, must abide by that state’s rules and land fish in that state. Individuals on vessels with red snapper may not transit Alabama state waters while the Alabama season is closed.
Anglers on federally permitted charter vessels may fish in state waters only during the days the state season is open. They may transit with red snapper during the days state waters are closed. Once the federal season is closed, they may not fish in state or federal waters. Owners/operators of federally permitted charter vessels are required to possess an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement and submit an Alabama red snapper landing report prior to red snapper being landed in Alabama.