Red snapper season has been closed from Florida to North Carolina since January 4, 2010. Now the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC) has recommended a special mini-season be opened this summer. They requested an emergency rule calling for one three-day weekend for recreational anglers and a 7 day mini-season for the commercial fishermen. This "season" could come as early as August and would have a one fish per person limit for recreational anglers and a commercial limit of 50 pounds per trip with no size limit in either situation.
The idea has to be approved by the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) and then signed by the Secretary of Commerce. The reason for this mini-season is to check the stocks and see where we are in rebuilding the red snapper population. Apparently there are fewer snapper dying than were estimated as a result of by-catch. I know that we catch lots of them on every trip offshore only to release them. A full season opening is still way off - after the next stock reassessment in 2014 - and it will probably be only for a couple of months at a time as in the Gulf of Mexico currently.
My thoughts? Boy, I can't imagine what the boat ramps will be like on any of those three recreational days! You better get there early if you want a parking place for your trailer!