Marine - Red Snapper Carcass Drop Off Program

Red snapper

2022 limited harvest for Red Snapper:

Recreational Fishing: open for harvest on the following days

  • July 8 and 9, 2022 (Friday and Saturday) - The recreational season opens at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 8, 2022, and closes at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 10, 2022.
  • Bag limit is one red snapper per person per day (this applies to private and charterboat/headboat vessels, captain and crew on for-hire vessels may retain the recreational bag limit if recreationally licensed), no minimum size limit.

Commercial Fishing: open for harvest upon publication of the final rule at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 11, 2022, and will close at 12:01 p.m., local time, on January 1, 2023, unless the commercial annual catch limit is met or projected to be met before this date.

  • NOAA Fisheries will announce if the commercial sector needs to close before 12:01 p.m., local time, on January 1, 2023.
  • Trip limit is 75 pounds gutted weight, no minimum size limit
  • The commercial harvest of red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic requires a federal commercial snapper grouper permit. Permitted vessels must also adhere to coast guard requirements for commercial vessels. (Learn more about how to acquire a permit)

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has placed freezers at select docks, marinas, and at bait shops that recreational anglers can use to drop off fish carcasses.

These sites will have catch cards that go along with the fish carcass in a carcass bag. The catch cards are intended to provide data and information about a fisherman's trip, such as date and length of trip.

State biologists will collect the frozen carcasses. They will measure the length of the carcass and remove the otoliths (ear bones) to determine the fish's age.

How it Works:

  1. Once back to the dock, filet your fish.
  2. Keep the carcass with the head, tail, and gonads (if possible) intact.
  3. Take the carcass to one of the collection freezer locations.
  4. Place your fish in one of the provided plastic bags.
  5. Fill out the provided catch card.
    • At the time of your catch, please make sure that you note your catch location using Latitude and Longitude (for use on the catch card)
  6. Place the completed catch card in the bag with the fish.
  7. Tie bag closed and place it in the collection freezer.

Freezer Locations: