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Federal Snapper Season

O.K. there's something I've been thinking about regarding the Federal Snapper Commercial(Charter) vs. Recreational season length. If I'm understanding my recreational boat will get 10 days while the charter boats will get 45 days.....????? So we all know the story when you factor in working during the week and weather I might get 1-2 trips, and that's if me and my crew get's lucky enough to put the trips together.

With all of that ASIDE.... I'm wondering how do I become a Charter Status boat without the intentions of ever running a charter? Is it merely just getting a Captain's License? Would I need to register with the state? Would I need special insurances? I'm not sure if it would be worth it, but it never hurts to ask....

I really mean well, and I guess just trying to have more chances to do one thing we all love...... F I S H

I don't see any good reason to line up recreational vs. charter, but with this ruling unfortunately does that.... I'm just wondering if we can't beat them.... Can we join them?
Nice thought, however in regard to Red Snapper, the Captain and crew do not get to retain any fish. But you could 'Take the family'.
You would need a USCG captains license to start. For red snapper you would also need a federal reef fish permit which are no longer being issued. You would have to purchase one from someone who was grandfathered in. I think they run a few thousand if you can find one. The state has declared that you have to have a federal reef permit to snapper fish in state waters as well so getting a state charter license alone would not be legal. You have to have a commercial insurance policy on your boat not connected to your homeowners to charter in Louisiana saltwater.
Sorry but you are not allowed to access those snapper as a charter captain. Half of the recreational quota was given to a select group to sale back to you. Sure maybe you can BUY what was GIVEN to them. Good luck. Hope you have deep pockets.

This is all about corruption. Don't believe all the lies you read when articles are forum post talk about things such as accountability! You are being robbed but don't expect the robber to say that!
Actually You only have to have a federal reef permit to fish federal waters not state waters charterboat captain's are not allowed to fish state waters all year long unless they are not on a charter. Then even if you do get stoped by federal game warden you can still get a ticket so legally a charterboat captain cannot fish the state waters if he has a federal permit on his vessel but I've been told if you're not on a charter they will not ticket you. You do have to purchase the federal permit from someone else Who already has it they will not issue any new ones. Mike being a field reporter I would think you would be a little more educated about how you speak I've been a charterboat captain for 20 years now I've not been given anything over the last 20 years everything that I could catch is been taken from me nothing has been given to me. This is the first time in several years that I can fish for snapper more than 10 days a year you as a recreational fishermen can fish for them over 180 days so who's been given what. I'm not saying that the regulations are right but people like you and the CCA who are against charterboat guys having 45 days so that they can make a living is just wrong. So next time you want to say that something was given to me come try doing what I do for 20 years and then when you show back up at the dock after you let go snapper all day and watch recreational fishermen clean them in front of your face and customers ask why we can't keep them think about what you say before you speak. In fact The first gentleman is right I do this for a living a way of life and I'm not allowed to keep one snapper the entire year so tell me what I was given once again.If you either own your own boat or have friends that bring you is it okay for you to catch red snapper 15 days federal waters and Over 100 days state waters with a lot of those days being a 4 fish limit. But it's not okay for the average person who charters a boat maybe once a year not to be able to keep 2 red snapper each and I'm not allowed any even though it's my way of life. Don't be so selfish. You are GIVEN a state water season I was not. I took serious offense to what you said and it makes me wonder why I spend money to advertise on this site when the people who run it could care less about charter boat captains that helped build it.
Fish Commander,
I am so sorry 'your' snapper were taken away from YOU! The simple truth is the snapper belong to the people of this country PERIOD!!!! You, I, and everyone else. The regulations that govern the take of red snapper from federal waters are total BS in my view. The state has stepped up and allow the take of snapper in state waters as you know. That means you too can harvest these fish. If you do it on a charter that brings up a whole other ball of wax so to speak. Maybe you risk your federal permit if caught harvesting those snapper but I nor any other recreational angler is going to bash you for doing so. What really pisses me off is that the powers that be have now given you access to 'my' snapper. So I can only harvest those snapper if I pay you to take me out on a charter. I have a boat that I can go catch them myself. You tell me how that is fair? the fact that I would have to hire a charter to take me out to catch fish that belong to the people makes me want to puke!
Wolf man jack. The only thing that you were right about is that the snapper do belong to the citizens of the United States and so what you're telling me is that if you own your Own boat you should be able to catch red snapper. but if you don't own your own boat then you shouldn't be allowed to ever catch a red snapper unless you book a charter the first 15 days of June. You're just flat out a selfish person. I'm not allowed to catch any I'm trying to let the rest of the citizens of United States be able to catch them once a year. Once again I don't get to catch them the citizens of the United States that the snapper belong to as you said get to catch them when they're on the trip with us. So I'd say it's unfair for me and the American people who only gets to catch them maybe one day when you get to catch them 15. Not to mention you can catch them in state waters over 100 days a year and the average person that cannot afford a boat does not get to catch them so you do not have to pay anyone anything ever to catch red snapper you're also allowed a four person limit after the federal season. It's not just about you since you own a boat it's about the American citizens which they will not be able to catch red snapper unless a Charterboat takes them. The fact that it makes you sick that other people get to enjoy snapper fishing who don't own a boat is pretty sad.
My living is not made from the sea as yours is. I can understand your point point of view. I'm sure all the charter captains were happy as pigs in chit when the numbskulls who made these seasons gave you guys 40 days(whatever the number is). That's great for y'all. Can you see the frustration that the non charter fisherman has? Why on God's green earth should I have to pay a charter to go and catch snapper in federal waters when they belong to us? I can't understand that. It pisses me off to no end. As far as I'm concerned charters should fall under the commercial quotas. You guys are profiting from the capture of a public resource.
I do understand your frustrations but the fact of the matter is charter boat captains make up a very small percentage of the snapper caught. So even if we didn't get to fish 45 days the recreation fisherman would not get but 2 or 3 at the most more days to fish. If the state wouldn't have opened there season we could all fish the federal waters more days. So don't be pissed at the charter guys for being able to take people out that go once a year and would also like to keep 2 snapper. I've never heard 1 recreational fisherman that owns a boat complain that the charter guys can't fish snapper in state waters. That's because it didn't affect them. So instead of being upset about us being able to allow more people to enjoy our great fishery. Show up and the council meetings be more involve with what's happening. Anyone can go and voice there opinion . I'll be there if I'm not on the water. I wasn't trying to call anyone out. It just suck knowing everyone is doing everything they can to take away my way of life and all I want to do is let people enjoy the outdoors.
This is exactly what the feds want, too split the private fishermen and the charter fishermen ,i understand both sides it is very frustrating for all of us , I am a weekend angler and the areas i fish snapper for don't allow use to fish the state season because it is not deep enough until we get out over the 10 miles , so that leaves us with 2 possible days to fish for them the entire year june 6th and 7th if everything falls perfect , the weather etc. We all know that the snapper are everywhere anyone that goes offshore can see it , the system is broken and i just can't understand why it's so hard to fix it, all it takes is common sense . Well I guest that answers my question ,because the federal guys seem to have NONE!!!
Thehunter your spot-on..

However, fish commander I was a louisiana fishing guide also have friends and customers that are guides. I am not bias. But it burned when you bashed Mike, he's not taking sides between fishermen. Also how dare you patronize us sportsmen/fishermen on this site by making claims you're helping the average joe,Really!(500pp a day average)

All fishermen are stressed over what these COMMUNIST CLOWNS are implementing. This is a fact and not an hypothesis if we do not stick together all of us will Lose!
Capt. I am truly sorry that your season has been so short. I understand that YOU have a much bigger stake in this than the average recreational snapper fisherman.

Your short season is totally without cause. So you are being screwed by the feds.

It is wrong for the recreational fishing season to be different for me than for any other recreational fisherman in Federal waters. Do you see the absurdity in the fact that I would be allowed to keep red snapper on your boat but not on my own boat?

Divide and conquer. First they pitted the commercial fisherman against the recreational fisherman. With great success. Now they have pitted recreational fisherman against each other with the split being if you do or do not own a boat.

Amendment 40 was opposed by virtually ever group that can be named that have an interest in this issue. They were even advised NOT to pass this amendment by their own advisory board. But they ignored everyone and passed this sorry bill anyway. Why? Because of corruption! Not management! Not science! Not the law! Corruption.

They have been breaking the law since just before Obama got in office. Pres. Bush many years ago mandated they fix their data collection process because they knew it was flawed. They still to this day have not fixed that problem.

You say you were not give anything! I disagree. Your boat is allowed to catch red snapper (paying recreational fisherman) when the recreational fishing season is closed. Yeah I would say that is a gift.

Granted I am sure we both can agree that your season and mine should both be much longer than YOURS now is!

As far as getting ticketed for fishing in state waters during a closed Fed red snapper season! I doubt that would happen. But I understand it is a valid concern. Again the root cause of this situation even existing is because the fisherman were (all of us) getting screwed over so bad by the Feds that the states finally had enough and started setting seasons that are the same as the federal waters season.

The evil people that run the Feds were even going to pull lic. from charter boat capts that legally caught red snapper in state waters. But they got shot down on that one thank goodness.

Think about it everyone. The feds were going to pull his charter lic. in federal waters if he caught fish 100% legal in waters that the Feds have no control over!!! If that doesn't key people in on who the bad guys in all of this are then nothing will.
This is a quote from a comment posted earlier. 'It is wrong for the recreational fishing season to be different for me than for any other recreational fisherman in Federal waters. Do you see the absurdity in the fact that I would be allowed to keep red snapper on your boat but not on my own boat? -'
Yes I Do and for around 150 days you can catch red snapper in the state waters out of your boat and I can't. I have been personally told by the wildlife and fisheries I will be written a ticket. For 25 days out of the federal season I can catch snapper and you can't. Do the math who's getting screwed. Charter Boats!
Now since a person fishing on a charter spends an average of $400 a year fishing with me, then a person who owns a boat spends thousands of dollars to have a boat each year, which one of these would you say was the average joe?
WHILE !!!! Fish commander , you really don't get it do you! the rec. fisherman and the charter fisherman need too be on the same page to get what we both want and are entitled too, the use of gods resources, not the over use, not the greed of 'Just for me attitude'. I have friends that have used your service and hear you have a good operation, and I know you run in to some not so good rec. guys, we all do , but all in all most fisherman are a good group of people and we all need to work together and get this system fixed. Not just pointing fingers at what everybody else gets . All I know is I get 2 days at best to fish snapper , and that sucks!
To answer your question of who is getting screwed! I agree that YOU are being royally screwed if you can't participate in the state season when running a charter. I find that terribly wrong. And also to my knowledge that would be contrary to the law unless there is a law about that that I am unaware of.

To be clear, even if there is a written law that says charter captains can't keep snapper during an open snapper season in state waters. Then I would say that is totally wrong, unjust, and you are being screwed by the state DWF.

It can not be emphasized enough that the feds are royally screwing us all.
Fish Commander: you have stepped into it on this one, my good friend. No one was against the the charter boats having extra days. We were all FOR everyone getting a fair shake and not separating the sector. Now, you have pitted your business against recreational guys.

I'd still fish with you any day.
quote: Now, you have pitted your business against recreational guys.

I wouldn't say HE pitted his business against the recreational fisherman. I would say the NMFS have pitted his business against the recreational fisherman.

In a just over a week will likely see the resentment rise with recreational fisherman as they watch charter boats reeling in a keeping snapper while they are forced to release their own when venturing out past the invisible 3 or 10.357 mile line.

I think it will hit home with many just what has been pushed on us.
You said it better, Mike. thanks
Mike I find it funny that you say the average recreational fishermen that owns a boat is going to resent me yet I'm not supposed to resent anyone who can catch them in state waters and clean them at the dock right in front of me. But The fact of the matter is I don't because I represent the recreational fishermen that cannot afford a boat that's what a lot of you don't understand. I'm not against the guys that own a boat that's great they get to enjoy the fishery we have . But there's no way every fisherman that doesn't own a boat can book a charter in 15 days . Maybe now some of you can see how unfair it really is to me as a charterboat captain and for the average fisherman that can't afford a boat. To the hunter I get it but please tell me how the average fisherman that owns a boat has helped to support me. Please show me one post from the average boat owner that talks about how unfair it is that charter boats can't fish state waters. CCA has sued the Feds because we have 40 days and they want the state to have control. Well the state has control over the state water season and I'm not allowed to fish a single day. I am supporting the average fisherman not just boat owners, how do you not see that. For those who want charter boats to be in the commercial sector that would be great I could fish 365 days a year but I'm trying to help the average recreational fisherman.
Mike please explain what you ment by this 'This is all about corruption. Don't believe all the lies you read when articles are forum post talk about things such as accountability! You are being robbed but don't expect the robber to say that! - '
Please explain who the robber is because if your talking about the Feds I've never seen them post on forums in my life so I'm assuming your talking about charter guys. Just trying to clarify.
'yet I'm not supposed to resent anyone who can catch them in state waters and clean them at the dock right in front of me.'

You can resent anyone you like. The point was not that recreational fisherman that resent you are right in resenting you, but there might be some resentment anyway. The ROOT CAUSE of the resentment would come from a successful attempt by the NOAA/NMFS to drive a wedge between recreational fisherman that own their own offshore boats and those that do not own their own boats.

The NMFS/EDF/NOAA do not want commercial fisherman/charter boat captains/and private boat owners all fighting for the same thing. So they pit each group against each other by devising schemes to break us up into different groups and manage each differently.

A few years ago I would have no idea how it could be possible to take recreational fisherman and charter captains that make their living off of recreational fisherman and devise a plan to pit them against each other.

They figured it out. Put forth the required notices. Got attacked by every organization that represents recreational fisherman. Were advised by congressmen and the committee that they are suppose to get guidance from to NOT do this sector separation. But did it anyway because it fits their agenda.

'But there's no way every fisherman that doesn't own a boat can book a charter in 15 days.'

Agreed. But the route to do that is for ALL recreational fisherman to have the same season. The way it has ALWAYS been.

The season for charter and noncharter boats has always been the same. So it makes no sense charter boats need a longer season to catch the same percentage of red snapper from the recreational season that they historically did.

That is the basis for the extended season. To let you and your customers reach HISTORICAL catch percentages.

Secondly this concept is stupid from the begin. If more recreational fisherman become more or less able to supply their own transportation offshore then why should that historical catch percentage matter. It is a stupid concept all together.

'I am supporting the average fisherman not just boat owners, how do you not see that.'

Why do you think that I can't see that?

' Mike please explain what you ment by this 'This is all about corruption. Don't believe all the lies you read when articles are forum post talk about things such as accountability!You are being robbed but don't expect the robber to say that! - ' Please explain who the robber is because if your talking about the Feds I've never seen them post on forums in my life so I'm assuming your talking about charter guys. Just trying to clarify.'

The EDF puppeteer behind all of this. The are paying to send people to the meetings to make a strong showing for the commercial and charter boat groups. An organization has even been set up to masquerade as a group for recreational anglers when it is really against the recreational angler. Spewing lies and half truths to pull the wool over the eyes of the less informed recreational angler. After all not all anglers fish for red snapper and follow this issue closely.

Accountability: One of the attacks on the recreational angler is the one of accountability. The Feds ACT as if the recreational fisherman are the instigators of why their data isn't any good. When in fact it is the feds who are ignoring the law and congressional mandate to fix the NMFS's flawed data. But instead of fixing as required by law (which would give them numbers they don't want to use)they instead ignore the law and push what they were advised not to push. Amendment 40. Commercial and charter guys are under systems that allow for greater accuracy in measuring their catch.

The argument is for the recreational fisherman to undergo accountability changes to remedy the situation.

This is to give the impression that the recs aren't manageing their own business. Ummm.. we just have been following the laws the NMFS set up! But somehow WE are to blame!

Funny thing is programs such as Isnapper and talk of getting tags for snapper are now being pushed by some recreational fisherman to 'FIX' this issue.

Ummmmm... Hello!!!! We do not need those systems for any other species of fish freshwater or saltwater! But for some reason red snapper are so difficult to manage that we practically need an autopsy on every recreationally caught snapper now!!! It is ridiculous.

Seriously think about it. How are we managing every other species of fish without these added burdens on the angler and still have thriving trout, redfish, bream, tuna, marlin populations??? Why are red snapper so different?

They are not!

The robbers are NOT the Charter Captains.
The robbers are the feds. They took half (by their numbers) of the recreational fishing allocation and made it a law that it can only be accessed anglers on a charter boat piloted by a permitted Charter guide.

Hope that clarifies my stance better. But I am sure not to many people are going to want to read all of that. Which is how this issue stays so confusing. Because it is very confusing and a simple one line statement or even a couple of paragraphs can't explain it all.
Seems what was intended is working. I have my own boat and frequently use charters. I took the week of snapper season off, load my 22ft Triton with 6 people a day for the week, and now have all the snapper I want. No need to argue over who gets what, head 30 miles south out of Cocodrie and catch all the snapper you want. Hurry, you only have a few days left. After that go cat fishing. We will not change the government. Nobody voted for Obama, but he has served two terms!!!
   Dr. Spot
Looking from the outside, as I don't fish snapper.... Fish Commander, who seems like a decent enough fellow, has argued that the commercials 'need more time' as they can't book everyone in ten days to fish and, by numbers, the recs outnumber them, so their days are reduced.

I'm saying baloney.

The fact that the charter industry has lobbied hard for this disparity strongly suggests that a certain few want to corner a market. And a ten day season (no matter if the weather is good, which fortunately it has been) for a two fish limit - when its obvious the snapper population is robust - shows to the average person like me either clueless fed fishery scientists, or a hidden agenda by these scientists

Mostly, it's about cornering a red snapper market. One can google the supporters of this law, and you will see some powerful restaurants and large commercial fishing companies involved. Google National Restaurant Association, Share The Gulf, and Seafood Harvestor's of America, and the truth becomes clear. Look at the Louisiana membership in these organizations. No doubt about what's really going on. They see an opportunity to increase the red snapper prices. As for the feds motivations......that's still unclear. Lobbying? Putting the squeeze on fishermen? All possible.

I also don't doubt there are many charters caught in the middle like Fish Commander, or don't know about the big picture....just drinking the kool-aid.

I'm just an average guy, but alarmed at what's happened here. Who knows what's next? Incrementalism and 'who cares, they won't do this to speckled trout' are dangerous slopes.

As for Mike's hypothesis that they are deliberately driving a wedge between recs and commercials.....some of these scientists are in my work building....and trust me, they are just not that clever. But I can't rule out a fed in Washington, though.
Ok I guess I will confuse this even more. Earlier this year the LDWF issued an online press release reminding state charter boat captains that they must have a FEDERAL reef permit to run charters for red snapper in STATE waters. But fishcommander and other captains I know say they cannot fish in state waters for red snapper with a federal reef permit. So is it that they cannot fish in the 'gray' area (3-10 miles) or is it they can't fish in state waters period? If they cant fish for snapper 2 miles out via federal regs why is the state requiring a federal reef permit for 'state' snapper? If the issue is the real snapper area of 3-10 miles is federal/state waters then maybe the solution is to get congress adopt the states proclaimed boundaries. Then those with federal reef permits could realistically harvest state snapper all year. Even better amend the state law and allow state licensed captains to guide for snapper in state waters without a federal permit in addition to the federal guys. This would allow equal sharing for all.