The private recreational angler red snapper season in federal waters will close at 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 2. Anglers may continue to harvest up to 4 red snapper per day with a 15-inch minimum length limit from Texas state waters.
Under an agreement between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), TPWD can establish the opening and closing of the red snapper fishery in waters off Texas. The federally permitted for-hire sector, which allow recreational anglers to fish from charter boats or head boats, remains in its current management structure set by the federal government.
TPWD uses a combination of data from creel surveys, historical landings and the iSnapper app to estimate the state’s red snapper landings each year. Texas must close the fishery when the state’s allotted poundage is reached. Red snapper catch estimates through the third weekend in August indicate Texas private recreational anglers have landed the majority of the state’s 2022 allotted pondage.
“It now appears that enough fish have been landed in the federal season that we will need to close federal waters off Texas. Fishing is still allowed in state waters until the poundage is fully reached but closing now should allow us to have a more extended season in state waters,” said Robin Riechers, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Director.
It is noted that results from the Harte Research Institute’s The Great Red Snapper Count estimate there are 23 million red snapper in Texas waters. This number is significantly higher than previous estimates and highlights Texas’ robust stock abundance. TPWD looks forward to continuing to work with our federal partners to be able to use the data from The Great Red Snapper Count to manage the fishery and provide more fishing opportunity in the future.