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Louisiana Commercial King Mackerel Season To Close October 16

Baton Rouge, LA – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at 12 p.m. (noon) on Monday, October 16, 2017.

The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the annual quota for the commercial harvest of king mackerel of 1.136 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico has been met. The commercial fishing season for king mackerel was previously closed in federal waters at noon on Saturday, January 21, 2017.

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then allocated towards various zones and fisheries. The commercial season in the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico opens July 1 of each year. According to the best information available, the 1.136 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for that zone has been harvested.

The commercial king mackerel season in Louisiana waters has previously been closed on March 27, 2009 (08-09 season), September 12, 2009 (09-10 season), February 11, 2011 (10-11 season), September 16, 2011 (11-12 season), August 22, 2012 (12-13 season), September 20, 2013 (13-14 season), October 31, 2014 (14-15 season), January 7, 2016 (15-16 season), and January 21, 2017 (16-17 season).

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery exists, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports. A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at 504.284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.