The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, meeting last week in Houston, approved a proposal that ultimately could give recreational anglers a higher percentage of the annual red snapper take than the commercial fleet.
By a 9-6 vote, the council approved Amendment 28, which would reallocate any red snapper caught over a 9.12 million pound baseline. Under the proposal, recreational anglers would get 75 percent of those fish.
The proposal will go through a public-comment period before it is voted up or down by the council. That pivotal meeting could take place in New Orleans, according to the Gulf Council's Charlene Ponce.
"Initially, (the council) thought they might take final action in June, but that meeting is in Key West," Ponce said. "They're talking about holding a special one-day meeting at the end of May in New Orleans or somewhere along the central Gulf Coast."
That meeting would be the final public hearing on the matter. The council is in the process of setting up other public hearings during the month of March.