It’s summer and with its arrival comes Florida’s fishing season. Fishing in the Gulf is an age-old pastime enjoyed by Floridians and tourists alike. Our miles of coastline and myriad of fish call both the seasoned and brand new angler, but with these miles comes also the responsibility to conserve our fish for generations.
Florida has worked diligently on maintaining a healthy stock of red snapper in our Gulf waters for years. And the great news is this year, we have an expanded season for red snapper in particular — a prized staple in our Gulf.
Last week, Florida joined the other four Gulf States in a compromise with the federal government that aligns both federal and state recreational red snapper fishing seasons for this summer. The result: 39 weekend days and holidays.
This is a step forward in maximizing private angler access to red snapper. With this agreement, President Donald Trump’s Department of Commerce demonstrates that through compromise and sound science, recreational anglers can participate in extended red snapper fishing without harm to the environment. The ruling permits fishing of red snapper on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 16 until Labor Day, Sept. 4, as well as July 3 and 4. Floridians and adjoining Gulf neighbors now have the longest federal-waters fishing season since 2013.
This agreement respects Florida’s much-need voice in the maintenance of our red snapper stock. Red snapper is a particularly important cultural element of our district and of our state. Red snapper fishing boosts tourism and recreational anglers alike, which are both critical to the Florida economy.
I am confident we can continue to balance the need for conservation while also allowing Floridians and tourists to enjoy fishing this prized staple in our Gulf.
I would like to thank the representatives of the five Gulf states, their fish and wildlife commissions, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, who came together on this important matter.
Daniel Webster represents Florida District 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.