The good news keeps on coming for Louisiana’s red snapper anglers fishing during the extended federal season in the Gulf of Mexico — you’ll be able to head offshore at least through this weekend, and by the looks of the harvest data so far, maybe well into August.
According to a release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries late Thursday afternoon, catch numbers from LA Creel — the state’s near real-time harvest collection program — indicate the state’s anglers have harvested 655,603 pounds of snapper through July 9.
Louisiana’s self-imposed cutoff for 2017 is 1.04 million pounds, leaving almost 385,000 pounds on the table with up to 22 potential fishing days remaining through Labor Day.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to close the red snapper season when it appears Louisiana’s catch will exceed the 1.04-million-pound limit.
Louisiana is part of an agreement reached earlier this summer with the four other Gulf states and the U.S. Department of Commerce that allows recreational anglers to fish 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper for 39 days. The extended season opened June 16 and will continue for now on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only through Labor Day.
Under the agreement with Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, there will be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out nine miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on Labor Day, Sept. 4.
Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches per day.