ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The Gulf Coast tourism industry is hoping an expanded red snapper fishing season starting this weekend will help some businesses survive the winter.
Many South Georgia fishing enthusiasts say they will take advantage of the opportunity.
The Gulf Oil Spill closed much of the Gulf during the red snapper season in June and July, and tourist revenues were reported down as much as 50 percent.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has open a fall fishing season for the next eight three day weekends in coastal waters off Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
South Georgians like Gary Hitt of Sylvester say they will be there Saturday. "I think a lot of people are gonna try to go, because we got to do hardly no red snapper fishing this year with the oil spill. Like I said they got the season cut down to two and a half months, and it was right there during when they had the oil spill," said Hitt.
Federal fishing biologists say repeated testing has not shown any spill related contamination in gulf fish. Anglers are allowed to catch a maximum of two red snapper a day with a minimum length of 16 inches on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays until November 22nd.