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State season for Red Snapper opens May 26

Mississippi’s recreational anglers will be allowed to harvest Red Snapper in state waters from May 26 through Sept. 4.

Mississippi territorial waters will be open from 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4. The bag limit will be two Red Snapper per person per day with a minimum size of 16 inches.

Also on Tuesday, NOAA announced that the federal season for private recreational anglers is three days ­– from 12:01 a.m. June 1 through 12:01 a.m. June 4.

The season for federally permitted for-hire charter vessels is 49 days – from 12:01 a.m. June 1 through 12:01 a.m. July 20.

The federal government in December 2015 approved the extension of state waters to nine nautical miles. Earlier this month, Congress made the extension permanent.

“We appreciate our congressional delegation’s efforts to make this change permanent,” said Jamie Miller, executive director of MDMR. “Rep. Steven Palazzo and senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker know how important this is to our recreational anglers.”

Anglers also are required to participate in MDMR’s reporting program for Red Snapper, “Tails n’ Scales.” This program is available through a smartphone App, a website and a call center. The App is available in iTunes and Google Play. The website is tailsnscales.org. Fishermen also can call 1-844-MSSNAPP (677-6277) to speak to a representative 24 hours a day.

Anglers must create a profile and start a trip. They must have a trip number when they are out on the water. They must report their catch and close out one trip before creating a new one.

“The purpose of this electronic reporting system is to provide fishery managers the best available data to ensure Mississippi anglers the most opportunities and greatest flexibility for Red Snapper harvest,” said Matt Hill, director of MDMR’s Finfish Bureau.

“This reporting system provides fishery managers with accurate and timely data that will be used for better resource management.”

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