Louisiana: anglers’ red snapper weekend seasons start May 27
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana says its weekends-only red snapper season for anglers will start May 27 in state and federal waters, with a daily limit of three of the popular sport and food fish.
The season will run Fridays through Sundays except for three holiday weekends — Memorial Day, which opens the season; the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Those three weekends extend through Monday.
Each licensed angler may take up to three red snapper a day, with a minimum length limit of 16 inches, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a news release.
The catch limit has been two fish a day for years, but was raised to four during a 2021 year-end reopening.
The department said anglers went nearly 7,000 pounds (3,175 kilograms) over the private recreational allocation last year, so that amount was taken from this year’s total limit. It says this year’s season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach 809,316 pounds (367,100 kilograms).
LDWF also reminds anglers that amberjack and gray triggerfish season will overlap the red snapper season on the opening Memorial Day weekend, but will be closed from June 1 through July 30.
Resident and nonresident recreational anglers who fish for red snapper or other offshore species must have both Louisiana basic and saltwater recreational fishing licenses, plus Louisiana’s free recreational offshore landing permit.
The smartphone apps and website for that free permit allow voluntary electronic catch reporting. The department said it’s hoping to get more information than it can get by standard dockside and telephone sampling, possibly improving its data for future management recommendations.
For-hire charter captains with only state licenses cannot fish in federal waters and may only go after red snapper in state waters during the state recreational season.
Those with federal reef fish for-hire permits will remain under federal regulations and may only fish federal waters during federally established seasons.
Those with both federal and state licenses may fish state waters only when the federal for-hire charter season overlaps with the Louisiana season, the department.
All recreational offshore anglers will be subject to periodic, random LA Creel dockside, online and phone surveys — the primary method to track the harvest since 2014. Participation is voluntary.
“The accuracy and reliability of harvest estimates depend on angler participation in LA Creel, so LDWF needs as many anglers as possible” to complete those surveys, the news release said.
LDWF also encourages anglers to going after reef fish to reduce trauma to those they return to the water by using devices that slowly return the fish to depths where they can survive. More information is available at https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/barotrauma.