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Red Snapper state season opens tomorrow
The Red Snapper season on state waters opens tomorrow. But the federal season opens in a little more than a week. It's shorter than years before.
Federal waters open June 1 and close June 10. This year's season was shortened to nine days in April. We talked to the captain of a Pensacola Beach charter boat who says these new regulations are changing the way he does business.
Katie Wampler is visiting from Missouri and came to fish.
"We caught a lot of red snapper. Some we had to let go actually. They were this big."
Ronnie Hogue is the captain of this charter boat and had to tell his clients who planned months in advance the season changed.
"People have already booked their motel rooms, booked their flights, whatever made plans to come down and you have to break the bad news to them."
He says he doesn't know why the season keeps shortening.
"We use to fish from April till June just about every day. Now we are looking at a nine day season. We have had to diversify. We fish in deep water now. We catch a bunch of different species that we can catch a few of."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the season is shorter to make sure the number of fish brought in doesn't exceed the quota established in their plan.
But the change on the federal level hits home.
"Of course it hurts me. You know, these are expensive boats. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars tied into these vessels. You know if they sit they don't make money."
"Oh that's my fish! That's mine!"
Visitors like Katie, just want to catch and keep their fish- not hook and release.
"Well I think they should keep it at two to three months. I don't know why. We had so much fun and people will be able to enjoy the Red Snapper more if there are more days."