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Recreational Fishing

Freshwater and Saltwater Finfish and Shellfish, Reptiles, and Amphibians

Louisiana’s waters provide some of the most productive natural habitats in the world, creating an environment that nurtures an abundance of fishery resources. These resources provide tremendous opportunities for recreational saltwater and freshwater fishing. The Bayou State is also home to numerous species of reptiles and amphibians; some turtles, frogs, and lizards may be collected for personal use. Be sure to have all applicable licenses and permits and be aware of the latest seasons and regulations before you go fishing or collect any reptiles or amphibians. These requirements are in place to conserve our fishery and wildlife resources and ensure Louisiana remains a Sportsman’s Paradise for generations to come.

— Did You Know? —

Following Best Fishing Practices helps ensure you're not only fishing legally but also with conservation in mind, especially to improve the chance of survival for fish you release.

Saltwater Finfish

Louisiana offers some of the top inshore and offshore saltwater fishing in the world. Read on for more information on special licenses and permits you need to fish recreationally in saltwater in Louisiana as well as the latest seasons and limits, gear restrictions and requirements, and prohibited species.  

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Freshwater Finfish and Crawfish

Louisiana’s lakes, ponds, rivers, reservoirs, creeks, and bayous provide an abundance of freshwater fishing opportunties; harvesting crawfish is a popular pastime for Louisianans as well. Stay up to date on the licenses and permits you need to harvest freshwater finfish and crawfish recreationally as well as prohibited species, gear restrictions, seasons, and limits.

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Crab, Oyster, and Shrimp

Find out all you need to know to legally harvest crab, oyster, and shrimp as a recreational fisherman in Louisiana, from licenses and permits to gear, seasons, areas, and limits.

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Reptiles and Amphibians

Be aware of the license requirements for collecting reptiles and amphibians recreationally in Louisiana as well as harvest restrictions, especially for prohibited species.

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Saltwater Recreational Catch/LA Creel

LA Creel is LDWF’s recreational saltwater landings data collection program. LA Creel uses a combination of data collected dockside and through phone and email surveys to estimate recreational saltwater fish harvests. LDWF relies on this information to manage the state's valuable recreational fishery resources.

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Louisiana Catch and Cook

Louisiana Catch and Cook provides fishermen and alligator hunters the opportunity to enjoy dining on their own catch-of-the-day prepared by a professional chef only hours after coming off the water. Any retail food establishment wishing to participate in the program can apply for a free permit issued by LDWF; rules and regulations, penalties, terms, conditions and requirements apply.

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Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

To possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, snappers, groupers, hinds, cobia, wahoo, gray triggerfish, and dolphinfish in Louisiana waters, recreational fishermen (except those under age 18 and those on a paid for-hire charter trip) must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP), in addition to required licenses.

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— Did You Know? —

Bowfishing Permit is required for anglers aged 18 years and older taking or attempting to take saltwater recreational fish with bowfishing gear or engaging in bowfishing activity south of the designated saltwater line. Anglers under the age of 18 years and anglers on a charter boat as clients are not required to have a Bowfishing Permit. The permit is free of charge.

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