LDWF: Red snapper landing estimates through April 21, 2024

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) released the latest private recreational red snapper landings estimates through April 21, 2024. LA Creel, LDWF’s near real-time landings data collection program, indicates that 161,317 pounds, or 17.0 percent, of Louisiana‘s 2024 annual private recreational allocation of 934,587 pounds have been harvested during the opening week of the red snapper season.

The private recreational red snapper season began Monday, April 15, in both state and federal waters, running seven days a week with a daily bag limit of four fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.  The season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana‘s allocation.

The LA Creel data collection program has allowed the state to effectively manage Red Snapper and provide flexibility to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in order to modify the season-opening date, thereby giving Louisiana anglers the unique opportunity to catch red snapper, greater amberjack, and gray triggerfish during the entire month of May. Both greater amberjack and gray triggerfish recreational seasons will be open through May 30, 2024, with gray triggerfish having previously opened on March 1 and greater amberjack opening on May 1, 2024. Because of LA Creel, anglers will have plenty of offshore options during May and those anglers are strongly encouraged to participate in dockside, phone, and email surveys in order to maximize those opportunities by providing LDWF with timely data. These surveys are the primary method of tracking harvest, and the accuracy and reliability of harvest estimates depends on angler participation in LA Creel.

Resident and Non-Resident Recreational Anglers:

  • Must possess valid Louisiana basic and Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses and a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (no cost) to fish for or possess Red Snapper, and other offshore and reef fish species.

State For-Hire Charter Vessels: 

  • State for-hire charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter/headboat permit for reef fish) are not allowed to fish in federal waters.
  • Must also possess a ROLP (no cost) to fish for or possess Red Snapper, as well as other offshore and reef fish species.
  • May only fish for Red Snapper in state waters (within the 9 nautical miles state water boundary), when the Louisiana recreational Red Snapper season is open.

Federal For-Hire Charter Vessels: 

  • Vessels with federal reef fish for-hire permits will remain under federal regulations and may only fish during the federal season, which will open June 1.
  • May only fish in federal waters during the federal for-hire season – June 1 through August 25.
  • If a federal for-hire charter captain also holds a Louisiana charter license, he/she may also fish state waters, but only when the federal for-hire charter season overlaps with the Louisiana season. When the federal for-hire season closes, the federal for-hire captain may not fish state waters.

LDWF encourages anglers to reduce barotrauma while fishing for red snapper and other reef fish by using descending devices to return fish to a survivable depth before being released. Please see the LDWF website at https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/barotrauma for more information. Federal regulations require that anglers have a descending device or venting tool rigged and ready for use while fishing for reef fish in federal waters.

For more information on the 2024 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit: https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/red-snapper