Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet signed a declaration of emergency to modify the recreational red snapper season from a weekends only (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) season to a seven day per week season, effective at 12:01 a.m. on November 28, 2019, until 11:59 a.m. on December 31, 2019, or when the remaining quota (27,582 pounds) is reached or projected to be reached.
The latest catch statistics recorded by LA Creel, LDWF’s near-real-time data collection program, indicate that harvest rates are low enough to allow expanding the season to every day of the week.
The private recreational red snapper season initially began May 24 in both state and federal waters. The season ran weekends only (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including the Monday of Memorial Day, Thursday of Fourth of July, Monday of Labor Day, and Monday of Veteran’s Day) with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.
Louisiana is operating under its second year of an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP), which allows the state to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the LDWF Secretary or Commission. NOAA Fisheries continues to regulate federal for-hire vessels (charter and headboats) under a separate season which has already closed. State charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state recreational red snapper season is open.
For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed estimates, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.