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Coastal Bend anglers can help capture valuable fishing data

Red snapper season is open
Red snapper
Posted at 1:45 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 11:14:45-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The red snapper season opened in federal waters on June 1.

"We wanted to go out and go deep-sea fishing and catch red snapper,” said Texas angler David Parker.

He and his daughter caught two sets of red snapper each.

“Everyone was catching them so it was a lot of fun catching them, reel them in and get them in the boat,” said Shaelyn Parker.

Tara Topping, who researches the red snapper, says it's one of the most popular fish species in the northern gulf and this is part of the reason why it's facing several challenges.

“We have over-harvested them in years past, so there's been some regulations set in place to allow more people to harvest them but at a lower amount,” said Topping.

To help preserve red snapper numbers, there is something you can do while fishing.

“iSnapper was created to allow private and charter fisherman to report their catch,” said Topping.

Topping said this year, Texas private anglers have a total quota of 261,105 pounds of red snapper in federal waters - or more than 130 tones. iSnapper is easy to use, all you have to do is download it, register, and input your catch.

“We go ahead and analyze the data, get an estimate of how many fish have been harvested,” said Topping.

These numbers are analyzed once every two weeks by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.

“They let us know how the quota is doing so we are staying below that number and the fishing season can stay open," said Topping.