The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is proposing that recreational anglers be allowed to harvest additional red snapper in state waters beginning Friday, Oct 6. The proposal would be for weekends – Friday, Saturday and Sundays – only.
“This is an unexpected surprise and exciting news for avid fishermen across Louisiana,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Having an extended red snapper season is a wonderful opportunity that many will be able to enjoy. Louisiana anglers and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are to be commended for working together to show the federal government that Louisiana deserves to manage its own red snapper fishing season in federal waters.”
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will decide on the plan at its Thursday, Oct. 5 meeting, set for 9:30 a.m., at the LDWF headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet says the department decided to propose the new season after receiving red snapper landings’ estimates from the department’s LA Creel Program indicating Louisiana’s recreational fishermen (private anglers and charter-for-hire) landed 936,864 pounds of red snapper through Sept. 4 of the year, when the extended, weekends only, federal red snapper season closed. The landings account for approximately 90 percent of LWDF’s self-imposed limit of 1,044,793 pounds.
The new fall season will allow recreational anglers the opportunity to harvest the limit’s remaining 107,929 pounds of red snapper in state waters, with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person. Each fish must be a minimum of 16 inches long.
The proposal or any suggested changes must be approved at the Commission meeting.
The department will monitor the progress of the harvest. If approved by the commission, Secretary Montoucet will have the authority to close the season when the self-imposed limit is met or projected to be met.
LDWF set a limit on its red snapper catch because it believes being accountable for the catch limit will help the state’s chances of receiving federal government permission that would allow Louisiana to manage its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.
Recreational Offshore Landing Permit
LDWF reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required to possess certain species, including red snapper. Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge, at https://rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. A valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit. A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.
Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need a permit as long as the charter captain has a valid Charter Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.