Outdoors news and notes: Red snapper season dates, grouper open in Florida Keys

Making news

Red Snapper season set to open June 1

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set the 2012 red snapper season for June 1 through July 10, a total of 40 days. The move brings the state into compliance with federal regulations.

But last week in Crystal River, state officials also voted to keep a 40-day season, even if federal fishery managers decide to shut down fishing prematurely. State waters extend 9 miles offshore in the gulf. The bulk of the state’s red snapper are caught in federal waters, especially here off Tampa Bay. But in the Panhandle, anglers can catch these tasty sport fish much closer to shore.For more information on red snapper, go to MyFWC.com/fishing.

Fishing for scholarships funds

Catch some big ones and help send a kid to college. That’s the mission of Eta Rho Educational Services, the nonprofit arm of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. At 7:30 a.m. Saturday, anglers can board the Gulf Queen, docked at Slip No. 52 at Clearwater Marina (25 Causeway Blvd.) The $60 entry fee gets you a rod and tackle. Bring your own food and drink. All proceeds will benefit the fraternity scholarship program. For information, visit etarhoques.com or call (727) 510-5051.

Grouper fishing opens in Keys

If you’re heading to the Florida Keys, grouper are back on the menu as the season opened May 1 in the Atlantic Ocean and Monroe County. The species that are fair game include gag, black, red, yellowmouth, yellowfin, tiger, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, and graysby grouper. State waters on Florida’s east coast run 3 miles offshore. The season will remain open through Jan. 1, 2013.

Solunar Chart

AM PM

minor major minor major

5/11 11:20 5:10 11:55 5:40

5/12 0 6:05 12:15 6:30

5/13 12:45 6:50 1:00 7:10

5/14 1:25 7:30 1:40 7:55

5/15 2:10 8:10 2:20 8:35

5/16 2:50 8:50 3:00 9:10

5/17 3:25 9:30 3:40 9:50

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