As Hurricane Harvey heads toward Texas — with the possibility of impacting Louisiana next week — probably not very many people are planning offshore trips this weekend to target red snapper.
So with limited fishing action expected over the next three days, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is now anticipating the extended red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico will make it all the way to its scheduled closing date, which is Labor Day, Sept. 4.
The latest numbers from LA Creel, the agency’s near real-time data collecting program, indicate 849,227 pounds of snapper had been caught through Aug. 13 — leaving just more than 190,000 pounds remaining before anglers reach the state’s self-imposed harvest limit of 1.04 million pounds.
Last week’s harvest total through Aug. 6 was 764,283 pounds. Any dates after this weekend will be cancelled immediately if biologists believe the harvest limit will be reached before Sept. 4.
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 up to 39 days. The extended season opened June 16 and will continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays up to 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 Sept. 4.