The red snapper catch numbers in Louisiana ended more than 100,000 pounds below the state’s self-imposed limit of 1.04 million pounds for the recently completed 2017 season, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced.
Anglers finished the season on Sept. 4 catching 936,864 pounds of red snapper or 107,929 pounds less that the limit, according to LA CREEL, the agency’s near real-time data collecting program. The total opens the door for a possible additional state red snapper season sometime this fall. That decision will likely be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) at its upcoming meeting on Oct. 5.
The LDWF established a limit on its red snapper catch because it believes being accountable for the catch limit will help the state’s chances of receiving federal government permission that would allow Louisiana to manage its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.
The federal red snapper season, originally set for three days in June, was extended 39 days as part of an agreement reached this summer involving Louisiana, the four other Gulf states – Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida – and the U.S. Department of Commerce. It allowed recreational anglers to fish in both state waters and in federal waters out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper on weekends through Labor Day.
Also, under the agreement, there was no red snapper fishing in state waters – out 9 miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and Sept. 4. Anglers were limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches, per day.
For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page/41176-red-snapper/redsnapperwebsitedocument9-10-17.pdf.