New legislation gets mixed reviews from fishermen.
Years of work are paying off for charter fishermen like Jay Trochesset, who’s been in the business for more than 40 years. A new fishery amendment now allows a longer red snapper season for charter fishermen, who can now fish in federal waters 40 to 45 days.
"Charter boats on the Gulf Coast have been trying to get sector separation for a while. It isn’t an overnight process. It’s been a process that’s been going on for a few years – trying to get it to help our business," says Jay Trochesset, owner of the Silver Dollar III charter boat.
But, private anglers are feeling short-changed with their increasingly shorter seasons. The season is projected to be seven to eleven days this year.
John Rey, a private angler, explains, "Say if we’ve only got a two week season and seven of those ten days or seven of those fourteen days of rough water, we’re not able to get out there."
But, charter fishermen say it is a fair deal. "I think it kind of gets us on an equal playing field. Before, we were kind of limited, and that’s what we do for a living. They could fish as long as we could in federal waters, and they could fish in state waters and we couldn’t."
Those who do not have the fortune of owning a boat, rely on charter fishing boats like this one to go out and catch red snapper. And, amendment 40 will help make that possible, while boosting the local economy.
We get a lot of people that come from out of town. They stay here, they spend money; we send them to restaurants sometimes to cook the food for them. So, they’re going to go out to eat, and they’re going to stay in a hotel," adds Dustin Trochesset, Captain of the Silver Dollar III.
Red snapper season begins June 1st.