Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries took official action to match the modified 2013 federal red snapper season. The seven-day season will now last through June 29, at 12:01 a.m., with a two fish limit at 16-inch minimum total length.
Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the change to the federal season, as a result of a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas which set aside an emergency rule that would allow NOAA the authority to adjust seasons off each Gulf of Mexico state based on whether their state-water seasons and bag limits were consistent with federal regulations.
As a result of this court decision, the federal recreational red snapper season must be the same in federal waters off all five Gulf States. NOAA extended federal seasons off Louisiana, Texas and Florida. NOAA Fisheries projects the Gulf-wide federal recreational red snapper season can be 28 days long. Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close to recreational red snapper harvest at 12:01 a.m., June 29, 2013.
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, whose office represented the state of Louisiana in U.S. District Court proceedings, said, “I am very pleased with the Court’s decision. NOAA’s new announcement of a 28-day federal Red Snapper season gives all Gulf Coast citizens an equal opportunity to fish for Red Snapper.”
The weekend-only Louisiana state red snapper season will resume following the completion of the federal season on June 29, with a bag and possession limit of three fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length. A weekend is defined as a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the exception of Labor Day when Monday will be considered a weekend as well.