Frequently Asked Questions on Louisiana’s Exempted Fishing Permit/Recreational Red Snapper Season

NOAA Fisheries can issue an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to authorize activities that would otherwise be prohibited by federal fishery regulations for limited testing, data collection, exploratory fishing, and other purposes.

In January 2018, LDWF submitted an application for an EFP to:

  • Test a state-based management approach that allows recreational harvest of red snapper in federal waters off Louisiana  
  • Evaluate fishing effort by habitat type off the Louisiana coast
  • Assess angler acceptance and validity of electronic reporting methods.

In April 2018, NOAA Fisheries approved the majority of LDWF's EFP application, along with similar EFPs from the other Gulf states. These EFPs allow each of the Gulf states to set their own season for the private recreational red snapper fishery in state and federal waters in 2018 and 2019; NOAA Fisheries will continue to regulate federal for-hire charter vessels. In general, when fishing for red snapper in federal waters, private anglers will need a permit and/or license for the state in which they wish to land their fish and that state’s recreational red snapper season in federal waters must be open. Anglers may fish anywhere in federal waters, including off a state with a closed season, as long as the state where they intend to land has an open recreational red snapper season. Anglers must follow all other requirements for landing in the state as well as the federal bag limit of two fish per person and minimum size limit of 16 inches total length.

Under Louisiana’s approved EFP, private anglers who hold valid Louisiana Basic and Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses as well as a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP) will be permitted to fish for red snapper in both state and federal waters during seasons determined by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. Anglers can sign up to participate in the EFP via the ROLP website or smartphone app (Google Play or iTunes). LDWF will monitor recreational landings on a weekly basis through LA Creel, the state's recreational landings data collection program, and the season will be closed when landings approach or reach Louisiana's allocation of red snapper approved under the EFP (about 743,000 pounds). Participants will also have the opportunity to test electronic reporting via the ROLP smartphone app and website.

1. Who is eligible to participate in the EFP study?

2. What is a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP)?

3. Are charter boats allowed to participate in the EFP study?

4. What will participating in the EFP study allow me to do?

5. How do I participate in the EFP study?

6. How do I find my LDWF license number?

7. When is the recreational red snapper season under the EFP?

8. How will LDWF inform participants about progress of the EFP season and potential closures?

9. What are the red snapper size and bag limits under the EFP?

10. How much red snapper is available for Louisiana’s recreational fishermen to harvest?

11. What happens if Louisiana’s 2018 recreational red snapper landings exceed the state’s allocation?

12. If I participate in the EFP study, what am I required to do?

13. Am I required to report my catch electronically under the EFP?

14. If I opt to participate in voluntary electronic reporting, how do I report my catch?

15. Do I have to own a boat to fish for red snapper during the EFP season?

16. Am I allowed to harvest red snapper in 2018 if I did not sign up to participate in the EFP study?

17. Do I have to make my catch available for inspection by LDWF biologists?

18. Do I have to land my catch in Louisiana?

19. What happens if the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council passes the Louisiana Reef Fish Management Plan, allowing state management of red snapper, while the EFP study is in progress?

20. What is the purpose of voluntary electronic reporting and the data LDWF is collecting?

21. What do we hope to learn from the EFP study?

22. Why is red snapper the only reef fish included in the EFP study?

 

If you have additional questions, please contact Jason Adriance at 504-284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.