The state recreational Gulf red snapper fishing season is underway. Pensacola has a long history of red snapper fishing. Commercial fishermen began traveling to Pensacola to fish for them in the 1840s. The industry was interrupted by the Civil War, then picked up in 1865.
The 52-day recreational fishing season for Gulf red snapper is now open in state waters. The federal season opens on June 1 and will run just nine days, the shortest in history.
The Gulf red snapper population was first determined to be overfished in the 1980s. Commercial and recreational quotas have been in place since the 1990s. Overfishing ended in 2009. Roy Crabtree is the southeast regional administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service.