Recreational Saltwater Seasons and Limits

Common Coastal Species

Cobia (Ling or Lemonfish)

cobia1

 

Size Limit:   33″ min fork length

 

Bag and Possesion Limit:   2 daily per person

 

Current Season: Open Year Round in State Waters

 

 

Drum

drum black   

 

Black Drum

 

Size Limit:   16″ min total length, 27″ max total length

 

Bag and Possesion Limit:  5 daily per person; No more than one over 27” max total length

 

Current Season: Open Year Round in State Waters

 

 

 

drum red

 

 

Red Drum/Redfish

 

Size Limit:   16″ min total length, 27″ max total length

 

Bag and Possesion Limit:  5 daily per person;  No more than one over 27” max total length

 

Current Season: Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes:

  • Recreational saltwater anglers may possess a two day’s bag limit of red drum on land; however, no person shall be in possession of over the daily bag limit of red drum in any one day or while fishing or while on the water, unless that recreational saltwater angler is aboard a trawler engaged in commercial fishing for a consecutive period of longer than 25 hours.

  • Take or Possession of red drum in federal waters is prohibited.

 

Southern Flounder

flounder southern

 

Size Limit:   No size limit

 

Bag and Possession Limit:   10 daily per person

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

 

Mackerel

mackeral king

 

King Mackerel

 

Size Limit:  24″ min fork length

 

Bag and Possesion Limit:  2 daily per person

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

spanish mackerel

 

Spanish Mackerel

 

Size Limit:  12″ min fork length

 

Bag and Possesion Limit:  15 daily per person

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Striped Mullet

mullet

 

Size Limit:  No size limit

 

Bag and Possesion Limit:  100 lbs, daily

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout)

seatrout

Size Limit:  12″ min total length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:

  • 25 daily per person
  • 15 daily per person with no more than two over 25” in specified areas of Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes (see below).

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes:

  • Map of specified area with 15 daily limit.
  • Recreational saltwater anglers may possess a two day’s bag limit on land; however, no person shall be in possession of over the daily bag limit in any one day or while fishing or while on the water, unless that recreational saltwater angler is aboard a trawler engaged in commercial fishing for a consecutive period of longer than 25 hours.

 

 

Reef Fish

Grouper

grouper gag

 

Gag

 

Size Limit:  24” min total length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:

  • 2 gag within 4 grouper aggregate
  • 4 grouper daily in aggregate. The grouper within the 4 fish aggregate are speckled hind, black grouper, misty grouper, red grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, warsaw grouper, gag and scamp.
  • No more than one speckled hind and one Warsaw grouper per vessel and not more than 4 red grouper per person and not more than included in the bag limit

 

Current Season:  Open – Season runs from June 1 through December 31 of each year in State Waters.  Closed season runs from January 1 through May 31

 

Notes: 

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • There is a closed season for the recreational harvest of gag from January 1 through June 30. A closed season for the recreational harvest of black, red, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers as well as rock hind, red hind and scamp has also been established from Feb. 1 – March 31 of each year. Size, bag and possession limits have been removed for rock hind, red hind, misty grouper, black sea bass, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, schoolmaster, blackline and anchor tilefish.
  • Other seasons and rules are currently in place in Federal waters off of Louisiana. Please check those rules at www.gulfcouncil.org under “Fishing Regulations.”
  • No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel under charter (their creel limit/bag limit is zero).

 

black grouper

 

Black

 

Size Limit:   24” min total length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  4 daily in aggregate.

  • The grouper within the 4 fish aggregate are speckled hind, black grouper, misty grouper, red grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, warsaw grouper, gag and scamp.
  • No more than one speckled hind and one Warsaw grouper per vessel and not more than 4 red grouper per person and not more than 2 gag per person included in the bag limit.

 

Current Season: Open Year Round in State Waters except from Feb. 1 to March 31 of each year seaward of the 20 fathom (120 feet) curve

 

Notes: 

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • There is a closed season for the recreational harvest of gag from January 1 through June 30.  A closed season for the recreational harvest of black, red, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers as well as rock hind, red hind and scamp has also been established from Feb. 1 – March 31 of each year.  Size, bag and possession limits have been removed for rock hind, red hind, misty grouper, black sea bass, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, schoolmaster, blackline and anchor tilefish.
  • Other seasons and rules are currently in place in Federal waters off of Louisiana. Please check those rules atwww.gulfcouncil.org under “Fishing Regulations.”
  • No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel under charter (their creel limit/bag limit is zero).

 

red grouper

 

Yellowfin Grouper

 

Red and Yellowfin

 

Size Limit:  20” min total length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  4 daily in aggregate.

  • 4 daily in aggregate. The grouper within the 4 fish aggregate are speckled hind, black grouper, misty grouper, red grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, warsaw grouper, gag and scamp.
  • No more than one speckled hind and one Warsaw grouper per vessel and not more than 4 red grouper per person and not more than 2 gag per person included in the bag limit

 

Current Season: Open Year Round in State Waters except from Feb. 1 to March 31 of each year seaward of the 20 fathom (120 feet) curve

 

Notes: 

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • There is a closed season for the recreational harvest of gag from January 1 through June 30.  A closed season for the recreational harvest of black, red, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers as well as rock hind, red hind and scamp has also been established from Feb. 1 – March 31 of each year.  Size, bag and possession limits have been removed for rock hind, red hind, misty grouper, black sea bass, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, schoolmaster, blackline and anchor tilefish.
  • Other seasons and rules are currently in place in Federal waters off of Louisiana. Please check those rules at www.gulfcouncil.org under “Fishing Regulations.”
  • No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel under charter (their creel limit/bag limit is zero).

 

scamp grouper

 

Scamp

 

Size Limit:   16″ min total length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  4 daily in aggregate.

  • 4 daily in aggregate. The grouper within the 4 fish aggregate are speckled hind, black grouper, misty grouper, red grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, warsaw grouper, gag and scamp.
  • No more than one speckled hind and one Warsaw grouper per vessel and not more than 4 red grouper per person and not more than 2 gag per person included in the bag limit

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes: 

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • There is a closed season for the recreational harvest of gag from January 1 through June 30.  A closed season for the recreational harvest of black, red, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers as well as rock hind, red hind and scamp has also been established from Feb. 1 – March 31 of each year.  Size, bag and possession limits have been removed for rock hind, red hind, misty grouper, black sea bass, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, schoolmaster, blackline and anchor tilefish.
  • Other seasons and rules are currently in place in Federal waters off of Louisiana. Please check those rules atwww.gulfcouncil.org under “Fishing Regulations.”
  • No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel under charter (their creel limit/bag limit is zero).

 

Goliath Grouper

 

Nassau Grouper

 

Goliath and Nassau

 

Size Limit:   Take Prohibited

 

Bag and Possession Limit: Take Prohibited

 

Current Season: Take Prohibited

 

Snapper

snapper red species

Red Snapper

Size Limit: 16 inches minimum total length

Bag and Possession Limit: 2 daily per person. The captain and crew of vessel under charter may not harvest any red snapper; their creel limit/bag limit is zero.

2017 Season: 

  • ·  State and federal waters are open for recreational anglers for 39 days every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between June 16 and September 4. Monday and Tuesday, July 3 and 4, along with Labor Day on September 4 are included in the open season.
  • ·  There will be no red snapper fishing in state waters (out 9 miles from the Louisiana coast) on Mondays through Thursdays during this time period, except on July 3-4 and September 4.
  • ·  LDWF may close this season early if we project that Louisiana’s recreational landings will reach our self-imposed historical limit. If Louisiana recreational landings have not met our historical limit by September 4, we may open state waters (out 9 miles from the Louisiana coast) until we project that anglers have harvested our historical limit.

Mandatory Recreational Offshore Landing Permit: Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Charter captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

 

snapper mutton

Mutton Snapper

Size Limit: 16 inches minimum total length

Bag and Possession Limit: 10 daily per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate

  • ·  Species within the 10 fish aggregate are all snappers (gray, mutton, yellowtail, cubera, queen, blackfin, silk, and wenchman) except red, vermilion, and lane snapper.
  • ·  Two-day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

Current Season: Open year-round in state waters

Mandatory Recreational Offshore Landing Permit: Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Charter captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

 

snapper queen

Blackfin Snapper

Silk Snapper

Wenchman Snapper

Queen, Blackfin, Silk, and Wenchman Snapper

Size Limit: None

Bag and Possession Limit: 10 daily per person within the 10 fish snapper aggregate

  • ·  Species within the 10 fish snapper aggregate are all snappers (gray, mutton, yellowtail, cubera, queen, blackfin, silk, and wenchman) except red, vermilion, and lane snapper.
  • ·  Two-day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

Current Season: Open year-round in state waters

Mandatory Recreational Offshore Landing Permit: Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Charter captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

 

cubera snapper species

 snapper mangrove

yellowtail snapper species

Mahogany Snapper

Cubera, Gray (Mangrove), Yellowtail, and Mahogany Snapper

Size Limit: 12 inches minimum total length

Bag and Possession Limit: 10 daily per person within the 10 fish snapper aggregate

  • ·  Species within the 10 fish snapper aggregate are all snappers (gray, mutton, yellowtail, cubera, queen, blackfin, silk, and wenchman) except red, vermilion, and lane snapper 
  • ·  Two-day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

Current Season: Open year-round in state waters

Mandatory Recreational Offshore Landing Permit: Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Charter captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

 

vermillion snapper

Vermilion Snapper

Size Limit: 10 inches minimum total length

Bag and Possession Limit: 10 daily per person within 20 reef fish aggregate

  • ·  Species within the 20 reef fish aggregate bag limit are vermillion snapper, lane snapper, almaco jack, gray triggerfish, tilefish, goldface tilefish, and blueline tilefish.
  • ·  Two-day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

Current Season: Open year-round in state waters

Mandatory Recreational Offshore Landing Permit: Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Charter captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

 

lane snapper

Lane Snapper

Size Limit: 8 inches minimum total length

Bag and Possession Limit: 20 daily per person within 20 reef fish aggregate

  • ·  Species within the 20 reeffish aggregate bag limit are vermilion snapper, lane snapper, almaco jack, gray triggerfish, tilefish, goldface tilefish, and blueline tilefish.
  • ·  Two-day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

Current Season: Open year-round in state waters

Mandatory Recreational Offshore Landing Permit: Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Charter captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

 

Almaco Jack

 

jack alamaco

 

Size Limit:   No size limit

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  20 daily, per person in 20 reef fish aggregate.

  • Species within the 20 fish aggregate bag limit are vermillion snapper, lane snapper, almaco jack, gray triggerfish, tilefish, goldface tilefish and blueline tilefish.

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Gray Triggerfish

grey triggerfish

 

Size Limit:   14″ min fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  2 daily, per person in 20 reef fish aggregate.

  • Species within the 20 fish aggregate bag limit are vermillion snapper, lane snapper, almaco jack, gray triggerfish, tilefish, goldface tilefish and blueline tilefish.

 

Current Season: Closed in State Waters

 

Notes:

  • Gray triggerfish to remain closed for all 2017.
  • There is a closed season for the harvest of gray triggerfish from June 1 through July 31.

 

Tilefish (Goldface, Blackline, Anchor and Blueline)

grey tilefish species

 

Size Limit:  No size limit

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  20 daily per person for all tilefish in 20 fish aggregate.

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes: 

  • Species within the 20 fish aggregate bag limit are vermillion snapper, lane snapper, almaco jack, gray triggerfish, tilefish, goldface tilefish and blueline tilefish

 

Amberjack

amberjack

 

Greater

 

Size Limit:  34″ min fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  One daily per person

 

Current Season: Closed in Federal and State waters

 

Notes: 

  • Closed in state waters on March 30th due to quota overruns in 2016.
  • Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico are scheduled to reopen on January 1, 2018
  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel under charter (their creel limit/bag limit is zero).

 

Banded-Rudderfish_wood

 

Lesser and Banded Rudderfish

 

Size Limit:   14″-22″ fork length slot limit

 

Bag and Possession Limit: 5 fish combined total between lesser amberjack and banded rudderfish.

 

Current Season: Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes:  

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.

 

Hogfish

Hogfish

 

Size Limit:  12″ min fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  5 daily per person

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Black Seabass

Black Seabass

 

Size Limit:  No size limit

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  No Bag or Possession limit

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Tripletail

tripletail

 

Size Limit:  18″ min total length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  5 daily per person

 

Current Season: Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Highly Migratory Species

Marlin

blue marlin species

 

Blue Marlin

 

Size Limit:  99″ min lower jaw fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  No Bag or Possession Limit

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes:

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • An HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • All recreational landings of marlin must be reported to NOAA Fisheries within 24 hours of landing at the dock.  Reporting can be done at https://hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (800) 894-5528.

 

marlin white

 

White Marlin

 

Size Limit:  66″ min lower jaw fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  No Bag or Possession Limit

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes:

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • An HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • All recreational landings of marlin must be reported to NOAA Fisheries within 24 hours of landing at the dock.  Reporting can be done at https://hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (800) 894-5528.

 

 

Swordfish

swordfish

 

Size Limit:  29” min carcass length or 33 lbs. min dressed weight

 

Bag and Possesion Limit:  Not more than 5 per vessel per trip

 

Current Season:  Open Year-Round in State Waters

 

Notes:

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • Recreational fishing vessels shall not possess more than five swordfish per vessel per trip. Swordfish taken under a recreational bag limit shall not be sold, purchased, exchanged, bartered, or attempted to be sold, purchased, exchanged or bartered. No person aboard any vessel shall transfer or cause the transfer of swordfish between vessels on state or federal waters.
  • A HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • All recreational landings of swordfish must be reported to NOAA Fisheries within 24 hours of landing at the dock.  Reporting can be done at https://hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (800) 894-5528.

 

Tuna

Tuna Bluefin

 

Bluefin Tuna

 

Size Limit:  73” min curved fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  1 per vessel per year with appropriate federal permit as incidental catch during the open season

 

Current Season: Incidental trophy season is closed June 7, 2017 to December 31, 2017

 

Notes: 

  • All bluefin tuna must be reported within 24 hours of landing to NMFS by calling 888-872- 8862 or visitingwww.hmspermits.noaa.gov. For further information about angling category permits call the NMFS HMS Division at 888-872-8862 or 301-713-2347.
  • There is no directed or targeted recreational fishing of bluefin tuna allowed in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Seasons subject to close at any time. Get more information HERE.
  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • Anglers fishing for tunas within or outside Louisiana state waters are subject to both state and federal laws, rules and regulations. Federal regulations regarding the recreational harvest of tunas change often, especially for bluefin tuna. Prior to angling for or harvest of tuna, be aware of the most current federal regulations for fishing or harvest, including sizes, bag limits and closed seasons. For updates on tuna quota monitoring and tuna retention limit adjustments, anglers may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at 888-872-8862. The “Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure” is available at http://hmspermits.noaa.gov/ library.asp and announcements of changes may be accessed via the web at http:// hmspermits.noaa.gov/news.asp.
  • Permanent Louisiana regulations on tuna harvest may be superseded by seasonal changes within the federal regulatory system. See websites referenced above for current federal regulations.
  • A HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

tuna bigeye

 

Bigeye Tuna

 

Size Limit:  27” min curved fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  No Bag or Possession Limit

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes: 

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • Anglers fishing for tunas within or outside Louisiana state waters are subject to both state and federal laws, rules and regulations. Federal regulations regarding the recreational harvest of tunas change often, especially for bluefin tuna. Prior to angling for or harvest of tuna, be aware of the most current federal regulations for fishing or harvest, including sizes, bag limits and closed seasons. For updates on tuna quota monitoring and tuna retention limit adjustments, anglers may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at 888-872-8862. The “Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure” is available at http://hmspermits.noaa.gov/ library.asp and announcements of changes may be accessed via the web at http:// hmspermits.noaa.gov/news.asp.
  • Permanent Louisiana regulations on tuna harvest may be superseded by seasonal changes within the federal regulatory system. See websites referenced above for current federal regulations.
  • A HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

tuna yellowfin species

 

Yellowfin Tuna

 

Size Limit:  27” min curved fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  3 daily, per person

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes: 

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • Anglers fishing for tunas within or outside Louisiana state waters are subject to both state and federal laws, rules and regulations. Federal regulations regarding the recreational harvest of tunas change often, especially for bluefin tuna. Prior to angling for or harvest of tuna, be aware of the most current federal regulations for fishing or harvest, including sizes, bag limits and closed seasons. For updates on tuna quota monitoring and tuna retention limit adjustments, anglers may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at 888-872-8862. The “Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure” is available at http://hmspermits.noaa.gov/ library.asp and announcements of changes may be accessed via the web at http:// hmspermits.noaa.gov/news.asp.
  • Permanent Louisiana regulations on tuna harvest may be superseded by seasonal changes within the federal regulatory system. See websites referenced above for current federal regulations.
  • A HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Shark

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

 

 Bonnethead Shark

 

Atlantic Sharpnose & Bonnethead Shark

 

Size Limit:  None

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  1 daily per person in aggregate

 

Current Season: CLOSED

 

Other Sharks (EXCEPT Prohibited silky and sandbar)

 

Size Limit:  54” min fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  1 in aggregate per vessel per trip.  No silky or sandbar sharks. No prohibited species.

 

Current Season:  OPEN

 

Notes for All Shark Species: 

  • All Louisiana state waters seaward to the gulfward boundary of the Louisiana Territorial Sea shall be closed to the recreational and commercial harvest and possession of all sharks between April 1 and June 30 of each year.
  • A HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Small Coastal Sharks

  • Atlantic sharpnose shark; bonnethead shark; blacknose shark; finetooth shark

 

Large Coastal Sharks

  • Blacktip shark; nurse shark; smooth hammerhead; bull shark; sandbar shark*; spinner shark; great hammerhead; scalloped hammerhead; tiger shark; lemon shark; silky shark*

 

*NOTE: Recreational harvest of sandbar and silky sharks (ridgeback sharks) is not allowed.

 

Pelagic Sharks

 

  • Blue shark; porbeagle shark; thresher shark; oceanic whitetip shark; shortfin mako NOTE: A person subject to a bag limit shall not possess at any time, regardless of the number of trips or the duration of a trip, any shark in excess of the bag limits. The practice of “finning,” that is, removing only the fins and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea, is prohibited within and without Louisiana waters. Notwithstanding other provisions of this part, a person may fish for, but not retain, white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) with rod and reel only under a catch and- release program, provided the person releases and returns such fish to the sea immediately with a minimum of injury.

 

Prohibited Sharks

 

  • The following is a list of shark species that are prohibited:
  • Atlantic angel shark, sand tiger shark, dusky shark, bigeye sand tiger shark, sixgill shark, largetooth sawfish, bigeye thresher shark, smalltooth sawfish, narrowtooth shark, Caribbean reef shark, white shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, basking shark, sevengill shark, Galapagos shark, bigeye sixgill shark, smalltail shark, longfin mako, bignose shark, whale shark and night shark. No sandbar or silky sharks may be retained under a recreational bag limit.

 

Sailfish

sailfish

 

Size Limit:  63″ min lower jaw fork length

 

Bag and Possession Limit:  No Bag or Possession Limit

 

Current Season:  Open Year Round in State Waters

 

Notes:

  • Recreational anglers, except those under 16 years of age and those on a paid for-hire charter trip, must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.  Charter Captains must also obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit.
  • An HMS Permit is required for all owners/ operator of vessels in the Gulf of Mexico fishing for and/or retaining the HMS regulated species of tunas, billfishes, swordfish and sharks.
  • An Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat Permit is required for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • All recreational landings of sailfish must be reported to NOAA Fisheries within 24 hours of landing at the dock.  Reporting can be done at https://hmspermits.noaa.gov or by calling (800) 894-5528.

 

Shellfish

Crab

Season: There is no closed season for the recreational harvest of blue crabs. However, you are required to remove your crab traps during any closures such as those for derelict crab trap cleanups. Go to the Derelict Crab Trap Removal page for more information.

 

Size and Possession Limits:

  • There is no recreational minimum size limit for blue crabs.
  • The recreational possession limit for blue crabs is 12 dozen per person per day.
  • Certain WMAs and state and federal refuges may have different possession limits. Consult your local LDWF office or see the latest recreational regulations brochure for details.
  • There is no minimum recreational size or possession limit for stone crabs or stone crab claws.
Oyster

Recreational oyster harvest for home consumption is limited to tonging or gathering by hand. A tong gear license is required.

 

Season: The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission opens and closes public oyster areas based on biological and technical data. Go to the Oyster Season page for the most current information.

 

The owner of an oyster lease, or his designee with written permission, may fish oysters at any time of year on their lease.

 

Exception: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals may close areas for public health reasons. Go to LDHH’s site for information on LDHH closed areas.

 

Size and Possession Limits:

  • All oysters taken from public oyster areas must be 3 inches or greater in length from hinge to mouth.
  • Size restrictions do not apply to oysters taken from a private lease.
  • Recreational oyster fishermen may harvest oysters from a lease only with the written permission of the leaseholder or in public oyster areas open for the harvesting of oysters. Recreational oyster harvesters are limited to two sacks per person per day for personal consumption, except in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster area where the limit is one sack per person per day.
Shrimp

Season:

You may not use trawls for any purpose in state waters while the shrimp season is closed.

 

Shrimp seasons are flexible and are determined by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission based upon biological and technical data relative to shrimp populations as well as public input. Go to the Shrimp Season page for the most current information.

 

Note: There are restricted areas within WMAs, refuges and other areas; these areas may be closed to certain gear types or methods of fishing. Check with your local LDWF office or see the latest recreational regulations brochure for details.

 

Size and Possession Limits:

There is no size limit for any saltwater shrimp harvested during the spring open season nor for brown or seabob shrimp harvested during any open season.

 

White shrimp is legal size when a pound of white shrimp equals 100 whole shrimp or less. You may not harvest sub-legal white shrimp, except from October 15 through the third Monday in December. Also, when more than half of your catch is seabob or brown shrimp, no more than 10% (by weight) of your catch may be sub-legal size white shrimp.