Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Shadoin signed a declaration of emergency to increase the daily creel limit for recreationally harvested red snapper from three to four fish effective Monday, July 17, 2023 thereby maximizing the allowable bag limit delegated to Louisiana under state management.

The increase is the result of a lower-than-expected harvest rate during the early part of the private recreational and state charter red snapper season. The bag limit increase will allow Louisiana’s anglers to fully utilize the increased allocation of red snapper.

“Today’s action is another example of how LDWF’s hard work to get red snapper management under the control of LDWF will reward our Louisiana red snapper anglers,” Shadoin said.

Several factors played a part in the decision. “Angler landings are often related to weather patterns and other factors that impact the anglers’ decisions to go fishing,” said Patrick Banks, Assistant Secretary of Fisheries. “LDWF is happy to relax regulations and give fishing opportunities back to the public, when possible, to ensure our anglers can maximize the harvest within federal quotas.  This decision demonstrates the effectiveness of state management of the red snapper fishery.”

Through efforts spearheaded by LDWF at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council in 2020, Louisiana, after long deliberations, was delegated management authority of the private recreational and state charter red snapper fishery in federal waters off Louisiana.  Additionally, through data gathered from the successful LA Creel program, LDWF now has the flexibility to manage recreational red snapper harvest during the season. 

This has allowed the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) and the department to manage the resource effectively and make in-season adjustments to opening and closing dates, size limits, and bag limits quickly and efficiently with input from Louisiana anglers as their input has become a vital part of the season setting process. 

Through state management of the red snapper fishery, Louisiana private recreational anglers are allowed to harvest red snapper from federal waters when the season is set by the LWFC.

However, this modification of creel limits does not apply to federally permitted charter boats operating under federal law during federally established seasons and under federally established rules for those vessels.

For more information on the 2023 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper .

LDWF is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. LDWF depends on license sales as a major funding source. Help us protect your hunting and fishing heritage while preserving habitat, wildlife, and aquatic resources by purchasing your license at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email or text alerts, signup here. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.