Red Snapper Fishing In Louisiana

Red SnapperThe Gulf red snapper population, which had been depleted at one point, has been recovering quickly, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. However, as the population grew, recreational fishing seasons in federal waters got shorter. The department says this is due to a number of reasons including increased catch rates, increased recreational fishing effort, extended state fishing seasons, larger fish, and insufficient monitoring of recreational landings.

When You Can Catch Red Snappers

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced this year that the private recreational red snapper season will begin on Friday, May 24 in both state and federal waters. The season will run weekends only (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, including the Monday of Memorial Day and Thursday of Fourth of July) with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit. In addition, to fish for or possess red snapper (and other reef fish) in federal waters, a fisherman must use non-stainless steel circle hooks when fishing with natural baits for reef fish and use a dehooking device to remove a hook embedded in a reef fish to release the fish with minimum damage.

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Fishing Licenses

Remember you ( Louisiana residents and nonresidents 16 years or older) need a fishing basic license before heading out.  The license allows you to use the following gear or to possess fish which have been caught for recreational purposes in Louisiana waters:

  • Bow and arrow
  • A barbed or barbless spear
  • Frog gig/catcher
  • Scuba gear
  • Hook and line (trot line)
  • Cast net with a radius not to exceed 8 feet, 6 inches
  • Rod and reel

State law has designated a “saltwater line” across south Louisiana; this line divides fresh and saltwater areas of the state. If you’re fishing north of the “saltwater line”, you just need a Basic Fishing License. If you’re fishing south of the “saltwater line” for saltwater species, you must also have a Saltwater License in addition to your Basic Fishing License. Louisiana has many areas where you can catch fresh and saltwater species side by side. Instead of trying to determine exactly where the saltwater line is, the best practice is to purchase the additional saltwater license if you’re fishing anywhere in south Louisiana and plan to catch any saltwater species.

Recreational fishermen also need licenses or permits for certain types of gear or activities.

Licenses are available at special rates for seniors, militarystudents, and people with disabilitiesLifetime Licenses are also available.

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