Red snapper again dominated the most recent Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting, and what proponents of separation of the recreational sector into for-hire/charter and private-angler groups called an "experiment" apparently will be become standard operating procedure.

The biggest news was the council backed a proposal by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to establish an Ad Hoc Advisory Panel for Recreational Red Snapper Management set to meet for the first time in January 2017.

This year marked the second year of sector separation (Reef Fish Amendment 45), which granted charters 47 percent of the annual recreational red snapper take from Gulf waters, and there was a three-year sunset provision at the outset. The most recent council vote extended the sunset provision to 2022. This, and all other actions like it, are sent to the U.S. Department of Commerce for review.

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