The 2018 recreational red snapper season will begin on Friday, May 25, in both state and federal waters. The season will run seven days a week with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may consider amending the season at a future meeting to weekends-only if necessary. The season will remain open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana’s annual private recreational allocation of 743,000 pounds of red snapper according to estimates from LA Creel.
This year’s season differs from years prior in that state and federal seasons will run concurrently because federal fisheries managers approved the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ application for an Exempted Fishing Permit to manage the private recreational snapper season in state and federal waters in 2018 and 2019. Under the EFP, participating anglers will be allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal EEZ, from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. NOAA Fisheries will continue to regulate federal for-hire charter vessels.
The intent of the state’s EFP is to test a state-based management approach that allows the recreational harvest of red snapper in federal waters off Louisiana’s coast.
– Julie Lively