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 the Hook Dat Fishing Charters Louisiana Red Snapper Season Blog.
Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) released the latest private recreational red snapper landing estimates through July 2, 2023. LA Creel, LDWF's near real-time landings data collection program, indicates that 247,987 pounds, or 26.5 percent, of Louisiana’s 2023 annual private recreational allocation of 934,587 pounds have been harvested during the 2023 red snapper season.
Average weight estimates and the proportions of state and federal charter harvest have been updated and are reflected in the landings estimates table.
Beginning Monday, July 17, the daily creel will increase to 4 fish per person with the same 16-inch total length minimum size limit until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s allocation.
Charter captains, including those fishing from vessels with a valid federal charter/headboat permit, are required to have a valid Charter ROLP to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo, triggerfish and dolphinfish in Louisiana waters. A Charter ROLP covers all paying anglers on a charter trip. A Charter ROLP is also valid for the captain on any private, recreational offshore trips he may take. Charter captains should not get a separate ROLP for private trips; they only need a Charter ROLP
A Recreational Offshore Landing Permit (ROLP) is required to possess tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, groupers, snappers, hinds, cobia, wahoo, gray triggerfish and dolphinfish in Louisiana waters. This permit is free of charge.
If you are looking to get on some amazing Red Snapper fishing in Louisiana check out our Hook Dat Fishing Charter Trips for Red Snapper. The snapper bit has been excellent this year!