GULF OF MEXICO — Charter boat and recreational fishermen will have only 11 days to reel in red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico this year.
The limited snapper season, which was 42 days last year, is set to begin June 1 in federal waters.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved the emergency change this morning during a meeting in Baton Rouge, La.
Despite concerns of charter fishermen that the change would severely limit their business, council members said the limited season was needed to ensure the future of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.
The limited season must next be approved by the secretary of commerce.
The drastic change in season length was prompted in part by a successful lawsuit filed by commercial fisherman who claimed recreational fisherman consistently violated catch limits.