When Chris Macaluso of the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership set out for a red snapper fishing trip, he planned to have fun and capture footage for a TV show. He also wanted to learn how to improve recreational fishing habitat and opportunities in the Gulf and beyond, including survival rates for catch-and-release fish. Macaluso said he learned first-hand the importance of continuing work to conserve the Gulf.

Red-Snapper-1-768x1024 Photo credit Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Clearly, red snapper are abundant in the northern Gulf, something all researchers and fishermen alike agreed upon. Still, there is so much uncertainty in the data regarding stock sizes, catch-and-release mortality and actual angler effort that red snapper seasons have become ever shorter over the last several years…Finding the best methods to improve survival rates of fish brought up from the deep and getting more anglers involved can hopefully increase the access recreational anglers have to harvesting more reef fish.

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Photo by: TRCP

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Shannon Rikard
Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.