Alabama announces 2024 red snapper fishing season

GCM Staff Report
Posted 4/2/24

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (ADCNR) Marine Resources Division (MRD) has declared that both Alabama state waters and federal waters will open to private and …

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Alabama announces 2024 red snapper fishing season


The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (ADCNR) Marine Resources Division (MRD) has declared that both Alabama state waters and federal waters will open to private and state-licensed charter vessel anglers for red snapper harvest beginning Friday, May 24.

According to a news release, this year's season will consist of four-day weekends, running from Friday through Monday, starting on May 24 and continuing until the private angler quota is projected to be met. Additionally, the entire week encompassing Independence Day, from July 1 to July 5, will be open for red snapper fishing.

It's important to note that the season dates mentioned above apply solely to anglers fishing from shore, private recreational vessels and state-licensed Alabama commercial party boats without federal for-hire fishing permits. The season for anglers fishing from federally-permitted for-hire vessels will be announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries at a later date.

The Alabama private angler quota for 2024, set by NOAA Fisheries, is expected to surpass the 2023 quota of 591,185 pounds. An announcement regarding the 2024 quota is expected from NOAA Fisheries before the start of the season.

Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the ADCNR, expressed optimism about the upcoming red snapper season.

"We anticipate having a great red snapper season in 2024," Blankenship said. "I am excited to get back out and catch some big red snapper with family and friends in Alabama's Artificial Reef Zones again this summer. We will continue working to ensure our citizens and visitors have access to the abundant red snapper fishery off the coast of Alabama."

To monitor shore, private vessel, and state charter angler landings during the season, Alabama employs Snapper Check, a reporting system. Weekly updates on the red snapper harvest will be provided at MRD will announce a season closure date once the 2024 quota is anticipated to be met.

Anglers participating in the red snapper season are reminded of several important regulations:

  • Weekends open for red snapper harvest are defined as starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ending at 11:59 p.m. Monday.
  • The daily bag limit is set at two red snapper per person, per day, with a minimum size limit of 16 inches total length.
  • Anglers aged 16 years and older must possess an Alabama saltwater fishing license, while Alabama residents aged 65 or older or lifetime saltwater license holders must have a current saltwater angler registration.
  • All anglers aged 16 years and older who possess Gulf reef fish, including red snapper, must have an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement.
  • Operators of vessels landing red snapper in Alabama are required by law to complete one landing report per vessel trip through Snapper Check.
  • Red snapper caught from non-powered vessels, piers, and shorelines must be reported through Snapper Check and require a Conservation ID number.
  • Federal laws mandate that all vessels fishing for reef fish in federal waters must have a venting tool or descending device ready for use.

Additionally, federally-permitted charter vessels may fish in state waters only when the state season is open, and once the federal season is closed, they may not fish in state or federal waters. Operators of federally-permitted charter vessels must possess an Alabama Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement.

The ADCNR aims to promote responsible stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources through its Marine Resources Division and other divisions. More information is available at