From LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet: Louisiana is in Charge of Red Snapper Season Now; Let’s Make It Work

Release Date: 05/25/2018

Louisiana anglers began their first day of the 2018 recreational red snapper season today (May 25) under new rules where, for the first time, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be managing fishing for the prized catch in both state and federal waters.
 
This has been a long time coming for LDWF and Louisiana’s avid fishing community.
 
This long-awaited authority resulted from approval of LDWF’s request for an Exempted Fishing Permit by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The result is the culmination of the hard work our biologists, staff, multiple LDWF administrations, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioners, sport fishing organizations and our congressional delegation.
 
Louisiana’s management of red snapper fishing in state and federal waters has been a consistent goal of Gov. John Bel Edwards. He gave me a clear message when he named me LDWF Secretary that Louisiana should be managing its own red snapper fishing program. He encouraged our agency to use whatever tools and science available to make this happen.
 
So now, the 2018 private recreational red snapper season is open and it is scheduled to run seven days a week in both state and federal waters off the Louisiana coast. The Louisiana Recreational Creel Survey, the state’s recreational landings data program, will play a major role in making sure Louisiana does not exceed its approximately 743,000-pound harvest limit.
 
Once that limit is met, the season must be closed under the terms of the EFP provided by the federal government. In comparison, anglers fished 42 days in 2017 during a joint state-federal waters season and did not exceed the self-imposed harvest quota.
 
LDWF encourages recreational anglers to participate in our data collection to make sure we have the best information available for careful management of this opportunity. Louisiana will make this work, just as we have shown we can over the last two seasons.
 
LA Creel harvest monitoring will be coupled with a test of electronic harvest reporting via a smartphone app and online web portal. To participate under the terms of the EFP and to participate in the electronic reporting, LDWF asks anglers to visit rolp.wlf.la.gov to sign up.
 
While rough weather is expected along the Gulf Coast this weekend that could hinder fishing, LDWF knows there are brighter days ahead for our anglers to enjoy themselves catching that beautiful red snapper.
 
As the slogan goes, Louisiana is the “Sportsman’s Paradise.” LDWF, in partnership with our anglers, will continue to make that moniker stick.
 

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