LDWF granted authority over red snapper season in state, federal waters for 2020

Today, Louisiana was granted the authority to manage red snapper in state and federal waters.

Starting in 2020, the popular gamefish will be regulated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

State wildlife officials will be able to tailor the red snapper fishing season to the needs of Louisiana’s anglers.

2019 Red Snapper Season

Louisiana’s wildlife officials have announced the recreational red snapper season for 2019.

Anglers can start fishing for red snapper in state and federal waters on Friday, May 24, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The season will remain open until the numbers of fish caught approach Louisiana’s annual quota, which is 816,439 pounds.

The 2019 quota is actually 73,439 pounds, or 9.8 percent, more than 2018.

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CCA Louisiana Red Snapper2
Courtesy: CCA Louisiana

When You Can Fish Red Snapper

Anglers can only fish for red snapper on weekends only, which includes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

However, fishing for red snapper is allowed on the following holidays: the Monday of Memorial Day, May 27, and the Thursday of the Fourth of July.

The daily bag limit is two fish per person and the fish must be at least 16-inches long to keep.

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What You Need To Fish Red Snapper

Recreational anglers must have a basic and saltwater fishing license, as well as, a recreational offshore landing permit to fish for red snapper.

Louisiana is operating under its second year of an Exempted Fishing Permit, which allows the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters.

Under the EFP, participating anglers will be allowed to fish red snapper in state territorial seas and the adjoining federal EEZ, from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. NOAA Fisheries will continue to regulate federal for-hire charter vessels.

CCA Louisiana Red Snapper3
Courtesy: CCA Louisiana

Resident and Non-Resident Recreational Anglers:

  • Must possess valid Louisiana Basic and Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses as well as a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (free of charge) to participate.
  • Anglers can sign up via the ROLP website or smartphone application (Google Play or iTunes) to participate. Log into your ROLP account and click the link to register to fish for red snapper under the EFP. Once you have registered, save an electronic copy on your mobile device or print a copy of your ROLP indicating your EFP registration and carry it on your person along with applicable licenses while fishing under the EFP.

State For-Hire Charter Vessels:

  • State for-hire charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter/headboat permit for reef fish) are not covered by the terms of this EFP.
  • May only fish for red snapper in state waters (within the 9 nautical mile state water boundary), when the Louisiana recreational red snapper season is open.

Federal For-Hire Charter Vessels:

  • Despite the department’s initial EFP application, vessels with federal reef fish for-hire permits will remain under federal regulations and may not fish under this EFP.
  • May only fish in federal waters during the 62-day federal for-hire season from June 1 through August 1, 2019.
  • If a federal for-hire charter captain also holds a Louisiana charter license, he/she may also fish state waters only when the federal for-hire charter season overlaps with the Louisiana season.
CCA Louisiana Red Snapper4
Courtesy: CCA Louisiana

All EFP participants will be subject to periodic, random LA Creel dockside surveys and associated online and phone effort surveys, as has been the case since 2014 when LA Creel began. While these surveys are voluntary, we strongly urge your participation, as this will be the primary method for tracking harvest.

The accuracy and reliability of harvest estimates depend on angler participation in LA Creel, so we need as many anglers as possible to complete both dockside and phone and email surveys.

Those who opt to fish under the EFP also have the option to test electronic reporting via the ROLP smartphone application or mobile and desktop version of the ROLP website.

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LDWF hopes that voluntary use of electronic reporting will provide the department with larger sample size than standard dockside and telephone sampling, improving the quality of recreational landings data to make future management recommendations.

Electronic reporting could also provide landings data even faster than LA Creel. If you opt into voluntary electronic reporting, you may also be contacted to participate in LA Creel.

For more information about the upcoming red snapper season, the EFFP, or voluntary electronic reporting, visit the LDWF’s Red Snapper Frequently Asked Questions section at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/snapper-efp-faqs.

Louisiana Recreational Red Snapper Announced For 2019
Rep. Garret Graves and a group of anglers pose for a photograph with red snappers at the Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle, La. (Courtesy: CCA Louisiana)