Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted today to approve a request to NOAA Fisheries that would allow fishermen access to red snapper in federal waters in the South Atlantic beginning in mid-to late October this year. If approved by NOAA Fisheries, it will be the first time since 2014 that the red snapper fishery has been open in federal waters off the coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia, and the east coast of Florida. The Council is requesting that NOAA Fisheries allow an interim annual catch limit (recreational and commercial) of 42,510 fish for 2017 via an emergency rule. The annual catch limit would allow for a recreational mini-season likely beginning the end of October, with approximately 6 to 12 days of fishing over a period of 3-day weekends. The recreational bag limit would be 1 fish per person/day with no minimum size limit. Commercial harvest would be allowed with a 75-pound trip limit. The recreational sector is allocated 71.93% of the total catch limit. If the Council’s request is approved, the number of days and specific dates of the recreational mini-season will be determined by NOAA Fisheries. A decision is expected in the coming weeks and will be announced by NOAA Fisheries.