MONTGOMERY – The United States Department of Commerce today announced an extension of the federal red snapper season. Governor Ivey was notified yesterday evening of the decision.

“I am proud to report that President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have granted my request to extend the federal red snapper season. The announcement comes after twice last week, once through a letter and once in person while at the White House, I asked President Trump to add to the season,” Governor Kay Ivey said.

“Many thanks are due to the President, Secretary Ross, Congressman Bradley Byrne, Alabama’s congressional delegation, and the local Gulf Coast government entities for their fight to increase the length of the red snapper season,” Governor Ivey continued.

On June 2, 2017, Governor Ivey sent a letter to President Trump asking him to review the data collected by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and to consider elongating this year’s red snapper season.  Governor Ivey specifically requested that the 2017 Gulf of Mexico red snapper private recreational season in federal waters be open for 39 more days than originally provided by the federal agency. She also spoke to the President about her request while attending a summit at the White House on June 8.

Today, the Department of Commerce announced that the federal red snapper season has been extended for a cumulative additional 39 days. Alabama state and federal waters will be open for red snapper harvest every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 16 through September 3.  The waters will also be open July 3 and 4 and Labor Day. The announced dates closely mirror those requested by Governor Ivey.

“The red snapper fishery provides a major impact to Alabama’s economy.  Every day the federal season is open helps businesses in Coastal Alabama,” Governor Ivey continued. “The people of Alabama are indebted to Acting Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship; without his efforts, this announcement would not have been made today. He and his staff have worked for many years to gather data and build coalitions to properly manage this fishery.”

“This is an historic collaboration with the Department of Commerce and the five Gulf states to reset the framework of federal red snapper management,” said Chris Blankenship, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “Secretary Ross and his staff have been very open. This accord is only for the 2017 season, but we are diligently working with our Congressional delegation and the Department of Commerce for a long-term fix.”

Fishermen are reminded that they are still required to report their red snapper harvest through the Alabama Snapper Check Program. The data collected through the Alabama Snapper Check Program the past three years were critical in securing the additional red snapper fishing days.  Only one report is required per vessel trip, and anglers can provide details via a smartphone app available under “Outdoor Alabama” in the iTunes or Google Play app stores, online at www.outdooralabama.com, or by paper forms available at select coastal public boat launches.

Both state and federal waters will be closed to the taking of red snapper Monday-Thursday each week.  A list of public artificial and natural reefs can be found at www.outdooralabama.com/artificial-reefs.

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