Most government agencies are well familiar with the concept of assessing and allocating public resources in the timber, energy and telecommunication industries, for example. Unlike the complex systems used to evaluate those resources, however, NOAA Fisheries has relied on simple past catch history to set allocations between the commercial and recreational sectors. The process involves selecting a snapshot in history, usually a span of three years or so, and basing allocations on how much the commercial sector caught over that time frame versus how much the recreational sector caught. The snapshot used for red snapper is from the 1980s, around the time when shrimp trawl bycatch of juvenile red snapper caused the recreational snapper harvest to decline by 87 percent from 1980-1984. The allocation of 51 percent commercial to 49 percent recreational that was produced by that process still stands today. Vitter ensured that the Gulf Council will at last bring red snapper reallocation efforts to the table for its February meeting, but without a formal allocation process, the ultimate outcome is still unclear and will bear continued monitoring.