LDWF released the latest private recreational red snapper landing estimates through May 28, 2023. LA Creel, LDWF’s near real-time landings data collection program, indicates that 53,262 pounds, or 5.7 percent, of Louisiana’s 2023 annual private recreational allocation of 934,587 pounds have been harvested during the first weekend of the red snapper season.
The private recreational red snapper season began May 26 in both state and federal waters running seven days a week with a daily bag limit of three fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s allocation.
Resident and Non-Resident Recreational Anglers:
- Must possess valid Louisiana basic and Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses as well as a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (free of charge) to fish for or possess Red Snapper, as well as other offshore species.
- Anglers get a ROLP via the ROLP website: https://ldwf.wlf.la.
- Once anglers have registered, they can save an electronic copy on their mobile device or print a copy of the ROLP indicating their valid ROLP and carry it on their person along with applicable licenses while fishing offshore.
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 (free of charge) to fish for or possess Red Snapper, as well as other offshore species.
- May only fish for Red Snapper in state waters (within the 9 nautical mile 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 that opened 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 only when the federal for-hire charter season overlaps with the Louisiana season.
All recreational offshore anglers will be subject to periodic, random LA Creel dockside surveys and associated online and phone effort surveys, as has been the case since 2014 when LA Creel began. While these surveys are voluntary, LDWF strongly encourages your participation, as this will be the primary method for tracking harvest. The accuracy and reliability of harvest estimates depend on angler participation in LA Creel, so LDWF needs as many anglers as possible to complete both dockside and phone and email surveys.
Those who fish for Red Snapper will also have the option to electronically report their catch via the ROLP mobile and desktop version of the ROLP website. LDWF hopes that voluntary use of electronic reporting will provide the Department with a larger sample size than standard dockside and telephone sampling, possibly improving the quality of recreational landings data to make future management recommendations. Electronic reporting could also provide landings data even faster than LA Creel. If you opt into voluntary electronic reporting, you may also be contacted to participate in LA Creel.
LDWF also 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.
For more information on the 2023 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit: https://www.wlf.