Commercial Saltwater Finfish

DRUM

Black Drum

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Fishing year begins September 1

Open year round, unless quota is met or projected to be met

16" min total length

No daily or trip limit.

3.25 million pound quota for 16-27 inch fish.

300,000 head quota for fish over 27 inches

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

 

SOUTHERN FLOUNDER

Southern Flounder

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Open year round. 

No size limit 10 Daily per licensed commercial fisherman for each consecutive day on the water, except that commercial shrimping vessels may retain and any commercial fisherman may sell all Southern Flounder caught as bycatch on any shrimping trip. Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

 

GULF MENHADEN

 

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Purse Seine Fishery

Open from the 3rd Monday in April through November 1.

No size limit None  

Bait Fishery
 

November 2 through December 31.  If the quota is not met, fishery may resume April 1 of following year until quota is taken.

 

No size limit 3,000 metric ton quota  

 

 

STRIPED MULLET

 


 

 

Striped Mullet

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Strike Net Fishery

Season is open from the 3rd Monday in October until the 3rd Monday in January.

 

No size limit

 

Special Permit Required.  Mullet may only be taken from sunrise Monday until sunset on Friday during the season.

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

Commercial Cast Net for Live Bait Mullet

Open year round

 

No size limit, however all mullet commercially harvested in a cast net must remain alive until sold.

 

Mullet may only be taken from sunrise Monday until sunset on Friday during the season.

Mullet Permit

  • The commercial fisherman (captain) is required to qualify and purchase a Mullet Permit to commercially harvest mullet.

Legal Gear - Mullet Strike Net

  • Mullet may be taken commercially with a mullet strike net.
  • A gill net 1 and 3/4 inches square or 3 and 1/2 inches stretched mesh (minimum)
  • No mullet strike net in use can exceed 1,200 feet in length.
  • Must not be anchored or secured to the water bottom or shore and must be actively worked while being       used.
  • A mullet strike net shall not be an unattended net as defined in R.S. 56:8 (102).
  • Mullet strike nets may only be used in state waters for the legal taking of striped mullet with a special mullet permit during the commercial season.

Legal Gear - Cast Net

 

  • Mullet may be taken for live bait purposes with a commercial cast net of no more than 12 feet in radius, operated manually, during any season.
  • Any person commercially taking mullet for live bait purposes with a cast net must have a valid cast net gear license issued by LDWF for each cast net within their possession while taking live mullet

Commercial Season

  • Mullet may only be taken commercially with a mullet strike net or a cast net Monday through Friday from sunrise to sunset.
  • Only one mullet strike net may be in use from any vessel at any time.
  • Mullet strike nets must be tagged with an LDWF-issued tag.
  • No other fish may be possessed when mullet fishing with a mullet strike net or cast net.

 

 

SPOTTED SEATROUT

 

Spotted Seatrout

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Season is open from January 2 of each year until December 31 or the quota is reached.

14” Minimum total length

 

Harvest time, day and location restrictions apply, please see regulations for more information


Special Permit Required. 

Spotted Seatrout Permit

  • In addition to other commercial fishing licenses, a qualified commercial fisherman must have in his possession a valid Spotted Seatrout Permit to commercially harvest and sell spotted seatrout.
  • The commercial fisherman (captain) is required to qualify and purchase a Spotted Seatrout Permit to commercially harvest and sell spotted seatrout.

Legal Gear

  • Spotted seatrout may be taken only by properly licensed and permitted commercial rod-and-reel fishermen.
  • No commercial gear other than commercial rod-and-reel may be used or in possession to take spotted seatrout.
  • All persons on board a vessel commercially fishing for spotted seatrout shall be validly licensed commercial fishermen.
  • Only the Spotted Seatrout Permit holder may sell spotted seatrout.

Seasons/Times

  • The commercial taking or harvesting of spotted seatrout is prohibited within Louisiana waters west of the Mermentau River. Commercial fishing begins on the second day of January until the last day of December or until the quota is reached, whichever comes first.
  • Spotted seatrout may not be taken commercially during the period from official sunset on Friday through official sunrise on Monday, and there shall be no possession of spotted seatrout in excess of the recreational limit during the period between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • However, a person holding a permit for the commercial taking or possession of spotted seatrout may take or possess an amount not to exceed the legal recreational limit of spotted seatrout between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. during the open sea- son and at any time during the closed season if that person also possesses a Basic Recreational Fishing License and a Saltwater Fishing License.
  •  It is illegal to possess spotted seatrout on a vessel where there is a gill net, strike net, hoop net, trammel net or seine, or other commercial gear. No person shall qualify for a Charter Boat Fishing Guide License and a Spotted Seatrout Permit during the same licensure period.

 

TUNA

 


 

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES
 

Bluefin Tuna

Federal seasons apply

 

73 inch minimum curved fork length, with some additional restrictions by permit type

Federal restrictions apply; only allowed as incidental catch in other Federal tuna fisheries.

Federal permit required

Bigeye Tuna

Federal seasons apply

27 inch minimum curved fork length

Federal restrictions apply

Federal permit required

Yellowfin Tuna

Federal seasons apply

27 inch minimum fork length

Federal restrictions apply

Federal permit required

Sustainability information at Gulf Finfo

  • Those species of tuna which have minimum size restrictions may have the head removed as long as the carcass length without the head exceeds the minimum size requirement.
  • In addition to state-required commercial fishing licenses, to commercially harvest, possess or sell Atlantic bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, skipjack tuna and albacore, whether within or without Louisiana state territorial waters, fishermen must possess a valid Federal Commercial Tuna Permit. See contact information below.
  • Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) is required when fishing commercially in the Gulf of Mexico with longline gear. Longline vessels must land all incidentally caught bluefin tuna that are 73 inches center fork length or greater and dead at haulback. See www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ for more information. 
  • Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the state, fishing for tunas within or without Louisiana state waters, are subject to both state and federal laws, rules and regulations. Federal regulations on harvest of tunas change often, especially for bluefin tuna.
  • Prior to harvesting tuna, be aware of the most current federal regulations on harvest, including sizes, bag limits and closed seasons. The Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure is available at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/species/tunas/documents/draft_tunas_regs_brochure_updated_jan2016_-_final_bft_quota_rule.pdf
  • For in-season fishery notices (retention limit adjustments, closures, etc.), visit www.hmspermits.gov or call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at 888-872-8862 or 978-281-9260.
  • NMFS maintains an automated permitting system for the issuance of Atlantic tunas and HMS vessel permits.To apply for or renew an Atlantic tunas or HMS vessel permit, visit www.hmspermits.gov or dial 888-872-8862. Customer Service for the Automated Permitting System can be reached by pressing "0" from the main menu. To apply for an Atlantic tunas dealer permit, call the NMFS Northeast Permit Office at 978-281-9370.

 

SHEEPSHEAD

 

Sheephead

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Open Year Round

10” min total length None Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

 

COBIA

 

Cobia

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Open Year Round.

33” min length 2 per licensed commercial angler per day.   Licensed anglers may only possess and sell two fish per trip.  

 

FLORIDA POMPANO

Florida Pompano

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Open year round except that special restrictions and special permits apply for the Aug. 1 through Oct. 31 strike net season.

None None

Pompano strike nets may be used from August 1st – October 31st.

Commercial Fishermen are required to obtain a Pompano Permit to harvest and sell pompano using a pompano strike net in Breton and Chandeleur sounds during the pompano season.

Legal Gear - Pompano Strike Net

In addition to other legal gears, Florida pompano can be harvested with pompano strike nets in seasons and areas described below;

  • 2 and 1/2 inches square or 5 inches stretched mesh (minimum).
  • No pompano strike net in use shall exceed 2,400 feet in length or be unattended by the licensee thereof.
  • Pompano strike nets may only be used for the legal taking of pompano in the waters in excess of 7 feet in depth and beyond 2,500 feet from land within the Chandeleur and Breton Sound areas described in R.S. 56:406(A)(2).
  • Pompano strike nets may be used from Aug. 1 - Oct. 31 of each year.
MACKEREL

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

King Mackerel

Season opens July 1 of each year until quota is met.

 

24” min fork length

3,000 pound trip limit.

Federal Permit required in Federal Waters.

 

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

Spanish Mackerel

Open year round.

12" min fork length

 

Federal Permit required in Federal Waters.

 

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

 

SWORDFISH

 

 

 

Swordfish

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES
Open year round

 

29 inch minimum carcass length or 33 lbs. min dressed weight

 

Federal Permit Required

 

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

To commercially harvest, possess or sell swordfish, whether within or outside Louisiana state territorial waters, fishers must possess a valid Federal Commercial Swordfish Permit aboard the vessel.

  • No person aboard any vessel shall transfer or cause the transfer of swordfish between vessels on state or federal waters.

 

 

GROUPER

 

Grouper

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Black

Open year round.

 

24” minimum length

Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required.

Federal permit required. 
Gag

Open year round.

22” minimum length

Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required.

Federal permit  required.

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

Red

Open year round.

 

18” minimum length

Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required.

Federal permit  required.

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

Scamp

Open year round.

16” minimum length

Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required.

Federal permit  required.

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

Yellowfin

Open year round.

 

20” minimum length

   Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required.

 Federal permit required.

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

Misty, Snowy, Yellowedge, Warsaw, and Speckled Hind

Open year round.

No minimum length

 Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required.

 Federal permit required.

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

Goliath and Nassau

NO COMMERCIAL HARVEST ALLOWED

 

PROHIBITED

NO COMMERCIAL HARVEST ALLOWED

 

 

SNAPPER

 

 

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Red*

Open year round.

 

13” minimum Length

Federal Permit Required.  Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required.

Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo
Mutton

Open year round.

16” minimum Length

 

Federal Permit Required.
Lane

Open year round.

 

8” minimum Length

 

Federal Permit Required.
Queen, Blackfin Silk & Wenchman

Open year round.

None

 

Federal Permit Required.
Schoolmaster, Dog & Mahogany

Open year round.

 

 

 

Federal Permit Required.

Vermilion

Open year round.

10" minimum total length

 

 Federal Permit Required.

 

Cubera,  Gray (mangrove), Yellowtail

Open year round.

 

12" minimum total length

 

Federal Permit Required.

 

GRAY TRIGGERFISH

 


 

Gray Triggerfish

 

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Closed season from June 1 through July 31 of each year.

14" min fork length 12 daily per vessel per trip per day.  Federal Permit Required. Federal Permit required in Federal Waters.

 

TILEFISH (Gold face, Blackline, Anchor & Blueline)

 

 

Tile Fish

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Open year round

No size Limit Individual Fishing Quota vessel account and allocation required. Sustainability Information at Gulf Finfo

 

 

 

AMBERJACK

 

 

Greater Amberjack

 

 

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Greater Amberjack

CURRENTLY CLOSED

Additional closed season from March 1 through May 31 of each year

36" min fork length 1,500 pound trip limit per vessel per day Federal permit required

Lesser Amberjack & Banded Rudderfish

 

14"-22" fork length slot limit   Federal permit required

 

 

HOGFISH

 

 

Hogfish

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Open year round

12" min total length   Federal Permit Required.

 

 

 

BLACK SEABASS

 


 

 

Black Seabass

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Open year round

    Federal Permit Required.

 

TRIPLETAIL

 


 

Tripletail

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES
Open year round 18" min total length

100lb trip limit,

no more than one vessel trip per day

 

 

 

SHARK


Shark

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT

BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT

NOTES

Blacktip

CURRENTLY CLOSED

Opens January 2017; annual closed season in state waters from April 1 through June 30 of each year

None

45 per trip per vessel per day for all species of large coastal sharks including blacktips and hammerheads

Federal permit required in federal waters

 

Aggregated large coastal sharks (nurse, bull, lemon, sandbar, silky, spinner and tiger)

CURRENTLY CLOSED

Opens January 2017; annual closed season in state waters from April 1 through June 30 of each year

None

45 per trip per vessel per day for all species of large coastal sharks including blacktips and hammerheads

Federal permit required in federal waters 

Possession of sandbar shark only allowed with special federal shark research permit

Hammerhead (great, scalloped and smooth)

CURRENTLY CLOSED

Opens January 2017; annual closed season in state waters from April 1 through June 30 of each year

None

45 per trip per vessel per day for all species of large coastal sharks including blacktips and hammerheads

Federal permit required in federal waters

Non-blacknose small coastal sharks (Atlantic sharpnose, bonnethead and finetooth)

Currently open in federal waters; annual closed season in state waters from April 1 through June 30 of each year

None

None

Federal permit required in federal waters

Atlantic angel, basking, bigeye sand tiger, bigeye sixgill, bigeye thresher, bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, dusky, Galapagos, longfin mako, narrowtooth, night, sand tiger, sevengill, sixgill, smalltail, whale, and white sharks

PROHIBITED

PROHIBITED

PROHIBITED

NOTE: There are proposed rules that could significantly modify rules for the harvest of sharks. Harvesters and wholesale/retail dealers interested in harvesting shark should remain aware of the current regulations.

Shark Permit

Persons commercially fishing for shark are required to obtain a Shark Permit from LDWF. In addition to other commercial licenses and state shark permits, persons commercially fishing for sharks in federal waters are required to have a federal shark permit. Those persons possessing a federal commercial directed or incidental limited access shark permit or federal shark research permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service under the Federal Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Sharks are limited to daily take, trip and possession limits as specified in that federal permit. Persons possessing a commercial state shark permit but no federal shark permit shall not possess on any one day, or on any trip, or land from any trip, or sell, barter, trade, or exchange in excess of 33 sharks per vessel from the large coastal species group, taken from Louisiana state waters.

NOTES: 

  • Persons possessing a Commercial State Shark Permit shall not possess any sandbar sharks unless they also have in their name and in possession a valid Federal Shark Research permit under 50CFR635.32(1).

  • The act of "finning" is prohibited. All sharks aboard a vessel shall have fins naturally attached to the original shark carcass by at least some portion of uncut skin.
  • No person aboard any vessel shall transfer or cause the transfer of sharks between vessels on state or federal waters.
  • All Louisiana state waters out to the seaward boundary of the Louisiana Territorial Sea shall be closed to the commercial harvest of all sharks between April 1 and June 30 of each year.
  • The fishing year for shark shall begin on January 1. The opening date for the commercial shark season may be set at some date other than January 1, and the closure of the fishery may be done on short notice as quotas are achieved, so participants in this fishery must remain aware of seasons as well as the potential for other rule changes.
PROHIBITED SPECIES

 

 

 

SEASON DATES

SIZE LIMIT BAG & POSSESSION LIMIT NOTES

Red drum, sailfish, blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, hatchet marlin, white marlin

PROHIBITED PROHIBITED NO COMMERCIAL HARVEST ALLOWED

*Check for seasonal closures and limit changes.