GULF OF MEXICO — The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has voted to increase this year’s red snapper quota by 2.5 million pounds and to start a recreational season Oct. 1 if the catch so far allows it.
The council increased this year’s quota on Wednesday from 8.46 million to 11 million pounds. A recreational season would get up to 21 consecutive days.
A supplemental recreational season isn’t certain because anglers have regularly exceeded their 49 percent share of the total, though commercial boats meet their quotas. The recreational excess is usually subtracted from the following year’s recreational quota. With the split season, any excess would be subtracted from added recreational quota.
The earlier federal season was June 1-28. Three of the five Gulf Coast states have different seasons in state waters.