Make Your Catch Count: Download iSnapper for this Red Snapper Season

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Anglers are encouraged to download the iSnapper app ahead of the 2022 red snapper season opening in federal waters on June 1. By reporting their red snapper catch, anglers can provide valuable data to scientists which can help ensure the long-term sustainability of this prized Gulf of Mexico fishery.

The app, created by the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, helps capture the most accurate harvest numbers possible.

“Your trip can help give the state a more accurate view of how many fish are being harvested,” said HRI Research Specialist Tara Topping, project lead for iSnapper. “Using the app is an easy way for anglers to get directly involved in citizen science efforts that support better management and access to this fishery.”

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is still running harvest calculations and will be using iSnapper data to conduct a comparative analysis of their own creel surveys, Topping said.

Red snapper have faced management challenges in recent decades, one of them being capturing accurate fisheries data. Red snapper are one of the most popular and, at times, controversial fish species in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Fishing seasons and bag limits have been highly restricted in the past to better manage the fishery’s numbers. Over the years, more and better data has helped to evolve biologists’ understanding of the fishery.

A three-year independent population assessment requested by Congress and led by researchers at the Sportfish Center recently found that the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is home to about 118 million red snapper, three times more than previously estimated.

Since 2020, state fisheries management agencies like TPWD were given the responsibility to manage the harvest of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. The Sportfish Center has partnered with TPWD since 2015 when iSnapper was redesigned to include private recreational anglers to help generate catch and effort estimates to aid in the management of the red snapper fishery.

iSnapper was designed to be simple, fast, and easy to use on the go. The app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. After downloading and registering with iSnapper, anglers simply open a new trip and answer a few questions each time they head out on the water. It is especially important to provide accurate vessel registration numbers during the registration process so data can be properly validated and recorded. After their trip, users can reopen iSnapper, record the number of fish they harvested, released, and give a general fishing location. Moments later, the data is sent securely to researchers to generate catch statistics.

Anglers can also view previously submitted trips and have the option to submit a socioeconomic survey to help researchers understand how valuable this resource truly is to our state.

Learn how to make your catch count in 2022 and find more information on the website.