Outdoors

Rough weather ahead for opening of federal red snapper season

Brian Welch of Gulfport holds up a 20 pound red snapper he caught while fishing on the Captain's Lady, about 55 miles south of Long Beach in water close to 120 feet deep. The crew of the Captians Lady caught nine red snapper ranging from 4 to 20 pounds.
Brian Welch of Gulfport holds up a 20 pound red snapper he caught while fishing on the Captain's Lady, about 55 miles south of Long Beach in water close to 120 feet deep. The crew of the Captians Lady caught nine red snapper ranging from 4 to 20 pounds. Sun Herald File

With the federal red snapper season expected to open with high winds and seas Thursday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will not change the dates.

NOAA announced Wednesday they will not postpone the start of the federal red snapper season, despite it being just three days long. Coast anglers, already upset at the shortest federal red snapper season in history, will be forced to go out in high seas.

“The Gulf of Mexico red snapper federal recreational fishing regulations require the season to annually start on June 1,” NOAA Fisheries Communications Director Kimberly Amendola said. “This is something the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council established and NOAA Fisheries cannot change that start date.”

The National Weather Service forecast calls for seas between three to five feet during the red snapper season’s three-day period. The waves could be as high as six feet Sunday.

Weather service keteorologist Alek Krautmann, who’s based in Slidell, said he doesn’t expect a small craft advisory or marine advisory to be issued. The Slidell office is responsible for monitoring marine conditions up to 60 miles offshore of the Mississippi and Louisiana Coasts.

“If the wind conditions are strong enough, we will make advisories,” Krautmann said Wednesday. “It looks there will be southeasterly shore flow with winds up 15 knots. ”

The state red snapper season in territorials began May 26 and closes at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 4.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

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