Texas, U.S. agree on 82-day red snapper season

HARLINGEN — A deal with U.S. fisheries regulators means private recreational anglers in federal waters will see a projected 82-day red snapper season, Texas officials announced Tuesday.

The red snapper season will begin June 1 under an agreement between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The season will be an increase of 40 days over last year’s red snapper season.

The agreement is a modified version of the Red Snapper Exempted Fishing Permit application submitted to NMFS earlier this year, and will allow TPWD to establish the opening and closing of the red snapper fishery in federal waters off the Texas coast for private recreational anglers fishing from their own vessels in 2018 and 2019.

Based on current harvest quota estimates, TPWD projects an 82-day red snapper season in federal waters, while state waters (out to nine nautical miles) are expected to remain open year-round. Bag and size limits will remain unchanged under the permit — two fish per person daily with a 16-inch minimum size limit in federal waters, and four fish per person daily with a 15-inch minimum in state waters.