Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet signed a declaration of emergency to add Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2 to the current weekends-only recreational red snapper season and to close the season at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, until further notice.
Labor Day was not included when the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission initially voted for the 2019 weekends-only season.
After considering the rate of landings and LDWF biologists’ recommendations, estimates indicate that red snapper landings will be near our 816,439-pound quota after Labor Day. After the closure, LDWF will continue to monitor red snapper landings through the LA Creel survey and consider options if any quota remains.
The latest catch statistics recorded by LA Creel is 691,765 pounds, or 86 percent of Louisiana’s allocation. This covers the period through August 11. Once the season closes, red snapper anglers will have had 48 days of fishing opportunity.
“The department appreciates the help of Louisiana anglers for responding to voluntary surveys to determine accurate and reliable harvest estimates through the LA Creel program,” Montoucet said. “Our goal is to provide as much fishing opportunity as possible for our anglers, while staying within the quota set by the federal government.”
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); this season has 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 landing estimates, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.