At the April 26 meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) discussed Gulf red snapper management, including the 40-day Gulf recreational season (June 11-July 20, 2018), and approved the creation of a Gulf Reef Fish State For-Hire program for 2018 and 2019. This program will enhance management efforts by requiring for-hire operations that target or harvest certain reef fish in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) to report their intention to harvest these species.

To learn more about the 40-day recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers.”

For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit but target reef fish in state waters will need to sign up for the Gulf Reef Fish State For-Hire program before targeting any of the following species: red snapper, vermilion snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish and almaco jack.

This effort is part of a fishery-management pilot program (also referred to as an Exempted Fishing Permit) that allows the FWC to manage recreational red snapper harvest in Gulf state and federal waters off Florida in 2018 and 2019.

To share your comments or input on Gulf red snapper, visit

Learn more about snapper at by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers.”

News Reporter