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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have gotten conflicting answers to the question of possessing red snapper in Florida waters during closed season, so I called both FWC and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources today, since I was thinking of heading over to Alabama during their extended season. Both FWC and ADCNR were extremely nice and helpful, and I did not have to wait long for an answer. It was encouraging to see this kind of customer service from government agencies, even if I didn’t get the answer I was looking for, but there is absolutely no lee way. You cannot possess red snapper in Florida during the closed season — period — even if you have a valid Alabama license and can demonstrate (via GPS) that you traveled by boat to Alabama and returned without stopping. Once you cross back into Florida with snapper, you are in violation — no ifs, ands or buts.

To possess red snapper (in your boat) you must return to a port in a state that has an open season, so you could travel by boat to Alabama waters, catch red snapper and then go to a port (orange Beach or Gulf Shores) drop off your catch, then return to Florida, or you could trailer to Alabama, launch and return to port in Alabama then return to Florida via roadway with your catch, but you would be in a jam if you got caught coming back to Florida in a boat with snapper during the closed season with even if you caught them legally in Alabama.

Here is the direct quote from FWC:

“You cannot possess red snapper in Florida waters during the closed season.

However, you can trailer your boat to Alabama, fish, and then trailer it back to Florida with your catch.”

Thanks,
Justin Wallheiser
850-617-9623”

I hope this helps if you were thinking of heading to Alabama for snapper.
 

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Bearded Brotula
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Yea, they changed it when they got approval to manage fed waters. No more crossing state waters. Have to be on a trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yea, they changed it when they got approval to manage fed waters. No more crossing state waters. Have to be on a trailer.
I’m glad you can bring them back from Alabama, but how would they know if my cooler full of snapper in the back of my truck was really from Alabama? Of course, I would not have gone to the trouble to call two agencies today if I wasn’t trying to be legit, but this seems like a loophole that allows the dishonest to get away with poaching while punishing the honest fisherman. Also, you absolutely can bring back fish from the Bahamas that are out of season in Florida as long as you have valid licenses there and the fish are in season in the Bahamas, so the Atlantic side gets some preferential treatment.
 

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US ARMY 2d ID VETERAN
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Well damn, I'm glad you posted this. We were planning on running out to the oil rigs overnight on Aug 1st/2nd.
Florida needs to extend the season too, cause we're going to snapper fish regardless. May have to phone a friend to unload the fish in Alabama. Gonna be a pain in ass, but cheaper than tickets I suppose.
 

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It's no different anywhere on earth. If the water that your in is not open to that species your in violation. PERIOD. What's so hard? I caught it in Alaska but I'm docking in Orange Beach.
 

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No complaint. Just letting folks like me know who might not.
It's a good post, since it's changed apparently from past rules. A very nice and helpful FWC officer I talked to on the water said the same. If I leave out of Perdido to catch snapper, I need to steer around Florida state waters on my way back in if I have fish in the box.
 

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lees way2
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Well damn, I'm glad you posted this. We were planning on running out to the oil rigs overnight on Aug 1st/2nd.
Florida needs to extend the season too, cause we're going to snapper fish regardless. May have to phone a friend to unload the fish in Alabama. Gonna be a pain in ass, but cheaper than tickets I suppose.
Ill be your friend CurDog. Just tell me where to be,I work cheap.
 

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What if on your way back from Alabama an FWC office makes a traffic stop on you and they’re in your cooler? Hell what if I’m cleaning them at my cleaning station and they drive by on boat? I personally think it’s ridiculous. I live on the water and want to drive to bama to fish, I should be allowed to do that legally. I can drive over and kill a deer and bring it back to Florida before the Florida deer season opens...
 

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What if on your way back from Alabama an FWC office makes a traffic stop on you and they’re in your cooler? Hell what if I’m cleaning them at my cleaning station and they drive by on boat? I personally think it’s ridiculous. I live on the water and want to drive to bama to fish, I should be allowed to do that legally. I can drive over and kill a deer and bring it back to Florida before the Florida deer season opens...
I believe the rules are about possession on the water. If you launch in AL, catch snapper in legal waters, come back to AL and trailer up and then drive home to Florida, you're fine.
 

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It's no different anywhere on earth. If the water that your in is not open to that species your in violation. PERIOD. What's so hard? I caught it in Alaska but I'm docking in Orange Beach.
Actually, if I launch in Mississippi run out and fish Louisiana waters, I can run back in to Mississippi launch with a Louisiana limit of trout and reds. As long as I don’t stop in Mississippi waters it is perfectly legal in Mississippi’s regulations. Of course you must show valid Louisiana license.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What if on your way back from Alabama an FWC office makes a traffic stop on you and they’re in your cooler? Hell what if I’m cleaning them at my cleaning station and they drive by on boat? I personally think it’s ridiculous. I live on the water and want to drive to bama to fish, I should be allowed to do that legally. I can drive over and kill a deer and bring it back to Florida before the Florida deer season opens...
Both agencies told me you’re legal as long as you’re not on the water which seems a little crazy to me. Like I said earlier, how do they know? Do they just take your word for it? And, if you dropped off 6 snapper and one person is driving back while you bring the boat back, are they over the limit if they get stopped? The easiest thing is trailering your boat to the closest boat ramp in Alabama, but that’s about a 90 minute trip one way for me, so it would make for a long day plus some gas for a few snapper. Not sure it’s worth it.
 

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Bearded Brotula
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Actually, if I launch in Mississippi run out and fish Louisiana waters, I can run back in to Mississippi launch with a Louisiana limit of trout and reds. As long as I don’t stop in Mississippi waters it is perfectly legal in Mississippi’s regulations. Of course you must show valid Louisiana license.
Pretty sure that changed for all coastal states when the feds let them manage their own waters. I know that was when Florida and Alabama stopped allowing it.
 
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