Red snapper season will open in Louisiana state waters this Friday, March 20, at 12:01 a.m. and will remain open seven days per week until further notice, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Bag and possession limit for the state-waters season will again be two fish per person and a 16-inch minimum total length, the release states.

“Thanks to our anglers participating in our recreational creel survey, LA Creel, and supporting a saltwater license fee increase, we are able to provide our anglers with additional snapper fishing opportunities that NOAA has denied them in years past”, said Robert Barham, secretary of LDWF.

On average, Louisiana anglers land 14 percent of the Gulf wide harvest - which should have been approximately 754,000 pounds last year.  However, with the federal 9-day season, Louisiana anglers only landed 22% (164,500 pounds) of their typical landing, well short of their fair share, the release states. But with the addition of the state season, which ran through December, Louisiana anglers landed 82 percent, or 621,000 pounds, of the state’s projected fair share.

LDWF officials again encourage fishermen to use caution and their own personal judgment when fishing beyond the three-mile boundary that is currently recognized as federal waters, as it is fully expected that federal agents will continue to enforce federal law. (In June 2012, the Commission took action to extend Louisiana state waters from three miles offshore to three marine leagues, or approximately 9 nautical miles, offshore.)

Until U.S. Congress confirms Louisiana’s action, the battle will continue over Louisiana’s state water boundary.  

LDWF reminds anglers that a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit is required in order to possess certain species, including red snapper.  Anglers may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge here.

Anglers may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration, and a valid Louisiana fishing license number is required to obtain a permit.  A confirmation number is allowed for a temporary (trip) license.

The permit is required for any angler possessing tuna, billfish, swordfish, amberjack, grouper, snapper, hind, wahoo, cobia and dolphin, except for those anglers fishing on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.