MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's recreation red snapper fishing season will be 47 days in 2018, beginning June 1.
Gov. Kay Ivey, in a news release Friday, said Alabama received an exemption from the National Marine Fisheries Service that will allow the state to manage its red snapper season for 2018 and 2019.
"This season will allow recreational anglers five more days to fish for red snapper compared to last year," Ivey said. "I am proud we have been able to expand the red snapper season, which is a critical part of Alabama's recreation and tourism industry."
Al.com reports Alabama and federal waters off the coast will be open for red snapper fishing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 1 to Sept. 2, plus July 2-5 and Sept. 3, Labor Day. The bag limit will remain two per person with a 16-inch (41-centimeter) minimum length.
The federal season for charter boats is not included in Alabama's permit and is expected to be announced later this month.
Ivey said the exemption for Alabama was made possible through language written by Sen. Richard Shelby's in the 2017 commerce, justice, and science appropriations bill, as well as the work of Rep. Bradley Byrne and Chris Blankenship, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Byrne praised the exemption and called it a "win-win" for coastal Alabama.
"A 47 day red snapper season is a huge development for our local fishermen and Alabama's coastal communities," Byrne said in a news release. "This is how government should work: take power from Washington and return it to the people who best understand the issue.
"Under this proposal, our fishermen will have adequate time to enjoy a Gulf Coast tradition while our coastal communities will benefit from increased revenue."
Fishermen are still required to report their red snapper harvest through the Alabama Snapper Check Program.