Thursday's Public Forum to Discuss Changes to Red Snapper Season - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Thursday's Public Forum In Destin to Discuss Changes to Red Snapper Season, Bag Limits

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"The season and bag limits affect our industry every time decisions are made, no matter what, one way or the other it will affect them," says Pam Anderson, Operations Manager at Captain Anderson's Marina in Panama City Beach.

"During the season, most of the boats are full all the time," explains Anderson. "When it's not red snapper season, there about half, so it's a big economic impact when they shorten the season like they have so we're looking for some big changes."

Exactly why Anderson will be attending Thursday evening's Scoping meeting put on by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, where the public is encouraged to attend and give their input on the length of the season and bag limit.

She says two options up for consideration for the red snapper season are a 44 day season with a 1 fish bag limit or a 27 day season with a 2 fish bag limit.

"That's a tough call because our fishermen,want more fish and yet we need more days to fish in order to make a living, so it's a very tough call," says Anderson.

But Anderson says a stock assessment of the red snapper set to come out in late spring should reveal there are plenty of the fish out there. Therefore, she says, "knowing what the stock assessment is suppose to show, the 27 day 2 fish bag limit is our choice."

Anderson says if the stock assessment shows there are plenty of red snapper, it could help make the season longer. However, the bag limit which is set to be decided on next month, can't be changed later on.

"If we chose now to have one fish bag limit in a 44 days season, we can't go back say in June, well I want a 2 fish bag limit," says Anderson. "So we want to go ahead and take our chances."

The scoping meeting put on by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Council will be Thursday at 6pm at the Destin Community Center where the season, bag limit, and regional management. The public is encouraged to attend.