Anglers preparing for weekend red snapper trips can proceed as planned: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries confirmed Thursday afternoon the extended summer season will go through this Sunday, and probably at least well into next month.
The newly released numbers from LA Creel — the department’s near real-time harvest estimator — indicate 709,595 pounds have been caught off the Louisiana coast through July 16. Last week’s total, through July 9, was 655,603 pounds.
Louisiana’s self-imposed cutoff number is 1.04 million pounds for 2017 — leaving about 330,000 pounds to go — but the season is subject to cancellation before its official Labor Day ending date if that limit is reached earlier.
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 Mondays through Thursdays, except on Labor Day, Sept. 4.
Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches per day.