Recreational Anglers and Professional Fishers Assist with Red Snapper Research on the Atlantic Coast

With angler assistance, biologists will gather information about the Atlantic red snapper fishery during the 2017 season on the Atlantic coast of Florida

Scientist collecting data, caption belowAn FWC scientist in Port Canaveral collects biological samples from a
red snapper obtained from a
charter vessel’s catch.

A recreational harvest season for red snapper in the South Atlantic was approvedExternal Website for November 2017, and due to inclement weather the season was extended to include an additional weekendExternal Website in December. This season opening is an opportunity for FWC to collect important data from harvested fish that is needed for future population assessments. FWC biologists will be surveying anglers and taking biological samples during the 2017 recreational red snapper fishing season.  Participation in these surveys is voluntary, though anglers are encouraged to take part in the surveys if approached by an FWC biologist.

During the 2017 Atlantic red snapper season, FWC will be collecting data from recreational anglers returning from fishing trips near 9 inlets on the east coast of Florida:

  • Cumberland Sound (Fernandina Beach)
  • St. Johns River (Mayport/Jacksonville)
  • Vilano Inlet (St. Augustine)
  • Matanzas Inlet
  • Ponce Inlet (Daytona/New Smyrna)
  • Port Canaveral
  • Sebastian Inlet
  • Fort Pierce Inlet
  • St. Lucie Inlet


Data Collection Methods:

Private Boat Anglers

Biologists will be monitoring vessel activity through each inlet and conducting surveys with anglers as they return from fishing. Biologists will also ask for permission to weigh and measure harvested fish, and may also ask to collect a sample from red snapper that will be used to determine their ages. These surveys will be used to determine how many boats participated in the red snapper season, the numbers of red snapper harvested, and important biological information that will be used in future population assessments.


Charter Boats

Charter boat operators with a federal permit to harvest snapper in the South Atlantic will be asked to keep a log of their trips and report their red snapper catch to FWC. Biologists will contact vessel operators by phone to collect the information, unless captains choose to mail the log. Biologists will also meet some charter vessels as they return from trips to collect biological information from harvested fish.



Headboats are already required to report all fishing activity to National Marine Fisheries Service and will not be surveyed by FWC during the red snapper season. Anglers returning from a headboat fishing trip may also be asked for permission by a state or federal biologist to collect samples from harvested fish.


We appreciate all the anglers and captains who take time to participate in surveys and allow biologists to sample their catch. The red snapper sampling effort on the east coast of Florida is a great example of scientists and fishermen working together to collect high-quality data needed to manage Florida’s fisheries.


FWC Facts:
In order to stick to plants, larval spotted gar have suction snouts that later become the long, teeth-filled snout.

Learn More at AskFWC