Baton Rouge, LA â€“ Louisiana anglers moved the needle only slightly in the latest catch numbers of red snapper meaning there will be yet another weekend to reel in the prized game fish.
The latest catch stats from LDWF's LA Creel, the agency's near real-time data collecting program, are 764,283 as of July 30. This level represents only slightly more than the last reported amount of 736,159.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to shut down the red snapper season when it appears anglers will meet the self-imposed limit of 1.04 million pounds.
LDWF believes that being accountable for the catch limit will help the state's chances of receiving federal government permission allowing Louisiana to manage its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.
The red snapper fishing season was extended 39 days as part of an agreement reached earlier this summer involving Louisiana, the four other Gulf states â€“ Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida - and the U.S. Department of Commerce. It allowed recreational anglers to fish out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper for 39 days. The dates left on the schedule are Aug. 11-13, Aug 18-20, Aug. 25-27, and Sept. 1-4.
Any dates after this weekend will be cancelled immediately if the limit is reached before Sept. 4.
Also under the agreement there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters â€“ out nine miles from the Louisiana coast â€“ on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and September 4. Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches, per day.
*For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates, visit:
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov . To receive LDWF email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.