There’s more good news for red snapper fishermen in the state.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries estimates show that the season will be open through this weekend. So far, state anglers have not threatened the harvest limit that would trigger the closure of the red snapper season, according to LDWF.
The latest catch numbers recorded by LDWF’s LA Creel program, the states near real-time data collecting program, is about 655,603 pounds. Last week’s reported catch total was 539,154 pounds. The state’s self-imposed cutoff is 1.04 million pounds for 2017. The most recent estimates cover the period through July 9.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to close the red snapper season when it appears Louisiana’s catch will meet the 1.04-million-pound limit. It is the goal of LDWF to be accountable for the state’s catch in order to improve its chances of receiving federal government permission allowing Louisiana to oversee its own red snapper season out 200 miles from its coast.
The red snapper fishing season was extended 39 days as part of an agreement reached earlier 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 out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper for 39 days. Those dates include June 16-18, June 23-25, June 30-July 4, July 7-9, July 14-16, July 21-23, July 28-30, August 4-6, August 11-13, August 18-20, August 25-27, and September 1-4.
Any dates after this weekend will be canceled immediately if the pound limit is reached before September 4.
Also under the agreement, there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out nine miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and September 4. Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches per day.
For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page/41176-red-snapper-long-range-plan-facts/redsnapperwebsitedocument7-19-17-1.pdf