19-11-CWS | March 1, 2019
BILOXI, Miss. – The Executive Director for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the Commission on Marine Resources announced Friday that Mississippi’s Red Snapper season will open for private recreational anglers and state for-hire vessels on Friday, May 24, 2019. Private recreational anglers can fish out to 200 nautical miles; however, vessels with state for-hire permits are restricted to state territorial waters extending nine nautical miles from the barrier islands.
The season will be open seven days a week and is scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on May 24. It will run through September 2 at 11:59 p.m. with a mid-season closure from July 8– 28. This closure will help ensure the state’s annual quota is not met before Labor Day and will allow MDMR staff to analyze all data from the first segment of the season.
Due to an increase in the Gulf annual catch limit (ACL), Mississippi’s quota this year is 151,584 pounds, with the quota for private recreational fishermen set at 148,507 pounds and the state for-hire quota set at 3,077 pounds. However, to account for the overage by the state for-hire vessels in 2018, the state for-hire allocation is 2,642 pounds. MDMR will manage each group’s allotment individually.
The season will close if the assigned quota for recreational anglers or state for-hire anglers is reached at any point after the season opens. It will also close if the Gulf-wide quota is reached.
All anglers are required to register their trips through MDMR’s Tails n’ Scales program, which is available through a smartphone app, a website and a call center. Anglers must create a profile and start a trip before going fishing for Red Snapper. They must have a trip number when they are out on the water and close out that trip before creating a new one.
The data collected in the Tails n’ Scales program allows MDMR fisheries managers to closely monitor the harvest in near real-time while still allowing Mississippi anglers more opportunity and greater flexibility to harvest Red Snapper.
As a reminder, there will be consequences for any anglers who do not comply with Tails n’ Scales trip reporting. Anglers caught fishing for Red Snapper without a trip authorization number will be fined and Marine Patrol officers will confiscate their fish.
The Tails n’ Scales app is available in iTunes and Google Play, and the website is tailsnscales.org. Fishermen can call 228-697-5762 if they need to report any issues with the app.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.