Filling out a survey card or calling the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will help biologists gain information about red snapper and other reef fish.
Biologists distribute survey cards year-round to anglers at public areas, including boat ramps, fishing piers and marinas along the Gulf Coast to gather information about fishing trips targeting red snapper.
This information includes where a red snapper is caught and released, type of fishing equipment used, size of the fish and its condition when released. Researchers and fishery managers use the data to assess the status of this recreational fishery.
Anyone fishing for red snapper in Florida, or anglers who reel one in at any time of year, can also request a postage-paid survey card in the mail by e-mailing their name and address to FishStats@MyFWC.com. To download a data sheet, visit MyFWC.com/Research/Saltwater, click on "Recreational Fisheries" and select the article "FWC Enlists Anglers to Assist Reef Fish Studies."
FWC biologists have been tagging and releasing reef fish such as snapper and grouper in the Gulf of Mexico since 2009 to evaluate fish survival after a catch and release. The yellow or orange tags are near the dorsal fin of the fish.
FWC researchers ask anglers to report tagged fish to the Angler Tag Return Hotline at (800) 367-4461. When calling the hotline, anglers should indicate the species, tag number, date and time of capture, catch location, fish length, type of bait used and whether the fish was kept or released.
If the fish is released, the angler should leave the tag in place. With every report of a tagged fish, researchers gain a better understanding of the rate of survival after these fish are released.
Anglers receive free T-shirts for reporting a fish tagged as part of this project.