2020 AL Red Snapper Season


Private recreational vessel anglers (including state-licensed only for-hire vessel anglers):

Dates: Weekends only (Friday-Monday) from Friday, May 22, 2020. The season is anticipated to last for 35 days and is scheduled to close on Sunday, July 19, 2020

  • Weekends are defined as 12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Size and Bag Limit: 16-inch total length; 2 per person, per day


Federally-permitted for-hire vessel anglers:

Dates: 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2020, and will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 2, 2020.

Size and Bag Limit: 16-inch total length; 2 per person, per day


All Anglers:

  • Must have a valid Alabama saltwater fishing license, as required, when in possession of any saltwater fish species in Alabama waters.
  • Harvested red snapper must be reported on one Snapper Check report per vessel trip before fish are landed in Alabama.
  • Free Saltwater Angler Registration is required for all residents 16 and over who take, catch, kill, or possess fish or attempt to catch, kill or possess fish in the saltwater jurisdiction of Alabama.  This includes residents who are not required to purchase an annual saltwater license such as those over the age of 64, have a lifetime saltwater license or fish exclusively on a pier that has purchased a pier fishing license.
  • Reef Fish Endorsement is required for all resident and non-resident anglers 16 years of age and older, and includes disabled, veterans appreciation, 65 and older, lifetime license holders, pier licenses, annual saltwater licenses, trip licenses, commercial fishermen, and charter boats.
  • Possession of red snapper in state waters while the Alabama season is closed is prohibited. Anglers fishing under another state’s season must abide by that state’s rules and land fish in that state. Individuals on vessels with red snapper may not transit Alabama state waters while the Alabama season is closed.

2019 Red Snapper Exempted Fishing Permit for Alabama – FAQ and More

Preliminary Results of Alabama’s 2014 Red Snapper Reporting.pdf

Preliminary Results of Alabama’s 2015 Red Snapper Reporting.pdf

Preliminary Results of Alabama’s 2016 Red Snapper Reporting.pdf


220-3-.83 Recreational Reporting of Red Snapper.

(1) The Captain or owner of any recreational or charter vessel possessing red snapper in the waters of the State of Alabama must report the harvest of said fish to the State of Alabama, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division, prior to landing the red snapper.

(a) For the purposes of this regulation, landing shall be defined as the removal of the fish from the vessel or the removal of the vessel from the water with the fish still onboard the vessel.

(b) The captain/owner of each recreational or charter vessel possessing red snapper shall provide the vessel identification number provided or specified by the Marine Resources Division, the total number of fishermen onboard the vessel, whether fishermen were required to be licensed or not, the total number of red snapper onboard and the total number of red snapper that were dead or floating when discarded.

(c) Vessels may report via online web page, smart phone application, standard touch tone telephone, by written forms placed in drop boxes provided at certain boating access locations or by other methods approved by the Marine Resources Division Director.


Why require mandatory reporting now?

The credibility of the current federal surveys used to estimate recreational red snapper harvests among private and charter anglers has been under ever increasing scrutiny. The estimate of Alabama’s 2013 red snapper harvest was twice as much as in 2012 yet the season length was nearly the same for both years.  Very few people would disagree that the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery is improving.  In fact, recent stock assessments are showing signs that the stock is improving faster than expected.  However, recent changes to the federal law that governs how red snapper are managed have led to the imposition of stricter regulations each year with slim hopes for improvement. A timely and accurate method of counting fish such as the mandatory reporting program could improve the predicament we face in this fishery.

Source: https://www.outdooralabama.com/mrd-fisheries-section/red-snapper-faqs

by mbkfa