The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has set the 2020 recreational red snapper season.
The popular offshore fish will be able to be legally caught on May 22 in both state and federal waters.
The season will be weekends only - Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Monday of Memorial Day and the Monday of Labor Day.
July 4 is a Saturday and will be part of the season as designated.
There is a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.
The season will stay open until recreational landings approach or reach Louisiana's annual private recreational allocation of 784,332 pounds.
That number is less than last year's number because there was an overage in the fish caught versus the state's quota.
Louisiana is operating under its first year of state delegated management, which allows the department to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters.
Resident and Non-Resident Recreational Anglers:
- Must possess valid Louisiana Basic and Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses as well as a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit(free of charge) to fish for or possess red snapper, as well as other offshore species.
- Anglers get a ROLP via the ROLP websiteor smartphone application (Google Play or iTunes). Once you have registered, save an electronic copy on your mobile device or print a copy of your ROLP indicating your valid ROLP and carry it on your person along with applicable licenses while fishing offshore.
State For-Hire Charter Vessels:
- State for-hire charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter/headboat permit for reef fish) are not allowed to fish in federal waters.
- May only fish for red snapper in state waters (within the 9 nautical mile state water boundary), when the Louisiana recreational red snapper season is open.
Federal For-Hire Charter Vessels:
- Vessels with federal reef fish for-hire permits will remain under federal regulations and may only fish during federally established seasons.
- May only fish in federal waters during the 62-day federal for-hire season from June 1 through August 1, 2020.
- If a federal for-hire charter captain also holds a Louisiana charter license, he/she may also fish state waters only when the federal for-hire charter season overlaps with the Louisiana season.
All recreational offshore anglers will be subject to periodic, random LA Creel dockside surveys and associated online and phone effort surveys, as has been the case since 2014 when LA Creel began.
These surveys are voluntary, but participation is encouraged, because it's a primary method for tracking harvest.
The accuracy and reliability of harvest estimates depend on angler participation in LA Creel, so as many anglers as possible are needed to participate in the surveys.
Those who fish for snapper also can electronically report their catch via the ROLP smartphone app or mobile and desktop versions of the ROLP website.
LDWF hopes that the voluntary use of this will create a larger sample size than standard dockside and telephone sampling, which will improve the quality of data collected to improve future management recommendations.
For additional questions regarding the upcoming red snapper season, the Exempted Federal Fishing Permit, or voluntary electronic reporting, please reference LWDF's FAQs on its website.