AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said Monday anglers will not be able to catch a popular fish starting next week.
TPWD said it would close red snapper fishing in state waters at Nov. 20 at 11:59 p.m. until Jan. 2024. Federal waters will stay closed until the summer.
“While we are disappointed to close state waters earlier than we had hoped, the pattern of prolonged federal seasons highlights the success of Texas’ state-managed red snapper fishery,” said Robin Riechers, TPWD Coastal Fisheries Division Director in the press release announcing the closure. “This year, anglers had a chance to take advantage of a 93-day federal season. Also, unusually calm offshore conditions in early June and July allowed anglers to catch red snapper at a higher rate than in 2022.”
According to the announcement, TPWD can establish the opening and closing dates of the annual red snapper fishery in federal waters while also continuing to manage red snapper fishing in state waters under an agreement between the department and the National Marine Fisheries Service
As part of this agreement, Texas must close the entire fishery when the state’s allotted poundage is reached for the year, the announcement said.
According to TPWD, private recreational anglers can bag four fish per person every day in state waters during the season. The state said the size of the fish must be a minimum of 15 inches.
TPWD has traditionally provided a year-round red snapper fishing season in state waters, the announcement said, and a limited red snapper fishing season in federal waters, which begins in June and closes after a certain number of days.
The length of the season in federal waters has been calculated to attempt to allow for a year-round season in state waters while remaining under the allotted annual catch limit, according to TPWD. The catch limit applies to fish landed from state and federal waters combined.
TPWD said red snapper range from Massachusetts to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.