Opinion: Red Snapper recreational fishermen— Allow Reallocation Among Fishermen, want shift to state management

redsnapperMany Gulf Coast anglers have been asking themselves what the world is coming to lately, when they can fish federal waters for red snapper for only a few days this year while commercial boats can take sport fishermen out anytime to catch snapper for the boat to sell. I sure wondered how that could be when, in April, I first heard about Texas captain Scott Hickman’s trips,” which — quite legally — allow him to take sport fishermen along to fill his fish boxes per the commercial catch shares he owns. He accepts no payment from these anglers, just as by law he can accept no tips. The anglers cannot legally keep any fish nor buy fish from Hickman. But they can buy fish caught that day from the fish house back at the dock — for a premium price (at least a few bucks more per pound than the usual market price). At first, this scheme seemed outrageous to me, as it apparently did to many in the recreational-fishing community. Then I started trying to put my finger on why it pissed me off, and mostly I came up with reasons why it shouldn’t, especially when considered within the context of our bizarro snapper-management regime. Read the rest here 10:30

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