The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has scheduled a scoping meeting for Monday (Jan. 14) in Baton Rouge during which possible regional management of recreational red snapper will be discussed.

The meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the public, will be held at the Doubletree hotel at 4964 Constitution Avenue.

Red snapper management has been a hot-button issue for years, and the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Commission last June voted to go out of compliance with federal fishing regulations.

While anglers still would be held to the daily bag limits set by federal managers, Commissioners decided to open recreational red snapper fishing in state waters on March 24 and allow Friday-through-Sunday fishing through September. Federal regulations have allowed the possession of red snapper by recreational anglers from June 1 through July 16 last year.

State commissioners also claimed waters out to 10 miles from the Louisiana coast, and LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said state enforcement agents would only enforce state regulations within that 10-mile range. For years, Louisiana's state boundary has ended at about three miles of the coast, even though all other states' territory extends to 10 miles.

The extension of state waters has not been recognized by the feds, and there is some uncertainty about whether the move has any basis: Commissioners acted on a 2011 state law that recognizes the offshore waters out to three marine leagues (roughly 10 miles) as historical being within the state boundaries — but that same act also states the legislation will not go into effect until the U.S. Congress approves of the new boundary definition. That has yet to happen.

You can email comments about the new state fishing regulations to:

• The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org
• Myron Fisher — LDWF representative to Council mfisher@wlf.la.gov


Comments also can be emailed to LWF Commission members:

• Ann Taylor — annt@heraldguide.com
• Stephen Sagrera — swsagrera@hotmail.com
• Michael Voisin — mike.voisin@motivatit.com
• Billy Broussard — bbillypb@kaplantel.net
• Edwin "Pat" Manuel — patmanuel.wlf@gmail.com
• Will Drost — will@towerlandllc.com