Gary Finch Outdoors: The Benefits of Alabama’s Artificial Reef Program

Gary Finch Outdoors

(WKRG) — While you are fishing for red snapper this season, you can give thanks to an artificial reef program that was started over 50 years ago. 

(Kevin Anson, Marine Resources Biologist): Alabama has kind of seen since the late 1950s when our local Orange Beach Fishing Association partnered with the state to build some artificial reefs out of some used or old automobile car bodies.  Since that point forward in time, Alabama went from hardly any production of red snapper to at one point no too long ago to being the number one state in the Gulf of Mexico as far as landing red snapper recreationally.  

(Capt. Ben Fairey): Offshore here was basically flat, mud bottom.  It was barren.  And the state of Alabama had the foresight to start this program and the artificial reef program is one of the largest in the world and it’s highly successful.  The red snapper fishery that we have is world class.

(David Walter, Reefbuilder):And Alabama has, but using the private artificial reef program has discovered something that nobody else knows.  That if you build an artificial reef and you manage it, you just catch a few fish off of it, that reef will continue to produce fish year after year after year. 

To find artificial reefs in your waters, check with your state’s marine resources division.  I hope everyone has great luck, and a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

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