As of August 2010, "The recreational bag limit for the Gulf of Mexico is two fish," according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Regulations regarding bag limits are set up to increase the number of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal law authorizes the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to impose bag limits as needed. The agency has also prohibited the harvesting--mass collection--of red snapper in federal waters off the Atlantic coast until Dec. 5, 2010.
Bycatch Reduction Devices
Shrimp trawlers often inadvertently catch snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, state and federal regulations require anglers to use bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawls. Developed and tested by NOAA Fisheries, bycatch reduction devices permit red snappers and other marine animals to escape the net while directing shrimp to the cod end--narrow end--of the net. As of August 2010, "BRDs are required in shrimp trawl nets working in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions," according to the NOAA Fisheries.
Anglers---commercial and recreational---must obtain an annual snapper-grouper permit. Anglers must apply in person or online for a renewal permit. For example, in Florida, the permit holder must contact the SERO Permits Office within 45 days of the expiration date of the permit to request a renewal application. Contact the fishery board in the state in which you will be fishing for pricing information.