2011 Brings Changes within the Fishing Season's
Gulf Shores / Orange Beach, Al - In 2011, you can expect some changes in the fisheries off the Alabama Gulf Coast. The Gulf Of Mexico waters prove to be some of the most fruitful waters in the entire United States. We have world class fishing to offer vacationers year round and to keep up with the demand the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management council has enacted some Fishery management plans to try and keep the stock healthy and vibrant for generations to come in accordance to the reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Congressional Act in 2007.
As most of you guys have come to understand the Red Snapper and most all bottom fish are part of a fishery management plan. The Red Snapper rebuilding plan is on track and as most of you guys that have fished recently can vouch the plan is working with lots of big Red Snapper to be caught.
Red Snapper Closure
After the BP Oil Spill of 2010 the Red Snapper season was moved to a special weekend only fall fishing season. For next season it appears that it will open on June 1 and will close some time in Late July or August and will be open 7 days a week. There is a possibility that we may see a weekend only fishery again next fall if there is any fish left to catch at the end of the normal summer season.
For the first time in a couple of years, we are facing a closure of the Amberjack fishery during the 2011 season. We have been faced with a some tough management decision and decided to close Amberjack while Red Snapper is open, if the stock assesments come back in a negative manner. It was apperant that having two major marquis fisheries open at the same time was not the best thing for trying to spread out a "trophy fish" over the course of a year. It was my intent to to make sure that there was something open to fish for year round.
Gag Grouper Closure
This is one of the most contentious management plans that has been in front of the council in a long time. According to the science it appears that the Gag Grouper fishery will be closed from January 1 until at least July some time. I am sure that there will be court battles over this one much like Red Snapper but only time will tell.