Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at 12 p.m. (noon), tomorrow, September 20, 2013.
The closure was set based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service, that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.07 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met. The commercial fishing season for king mackerel will also close in federal waters at noon on Friday.
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 divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries. According to the best information available, the 1.07 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico will be harvested by September 20, 2013.
While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, 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.