Happy National Fishing and Boating Week, Louisiana

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South Louisiana is a Sportsman’s Paradise and for good reasons. Here are a few reminders to anyone taking part in the great outdoors during National Fishing and Boating Week.

National Fishing and Boating Week is June 4 through June 12. Remember, there are some differences in license fees and laws as of June 1. Trying to remember to renew your license in June is no more as the renewal date is now one year after the purchase date. Also, the following fee changes are now in effect:

  • Basic Fishing: $17.00
  • Hook & Line / Roadside Crabbing: $5.00
  • Saltwater Fishing: $15.00
  • NOTE: Persons 17 and under are not required to purchase a fishing license.

For the full fee schedule, click here.

We may sometimes forget some basic safety practices since boating is a part of our culture. According to Wear It, a program of the National Safe Boating Council, these are some tips to remember next time you go out on the water:

  • Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone wears a life jacket – every time. A stowed life jacket is no use in an emergency.
  • Make a float plan. Always let someone on shore know the trip itinerary, including operator and passenger information, boat type and registration, and communication equipment on board.
  • Use an engine cut-off switch – it’s the law. An engine cut-off switch is a proven safety device to stop a powerboat engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
  • Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during the excursion.
  • Know what’s going on around you at all times. Nearly a quarter of all reported boating accidents each year are caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
  • Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Be familiar with the area, local boating speed zones, and always travel at a safe speed.
  • Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. Always designate a sober skipper.
  • Keep in touch. Have more than one communication device that works when wet. VHF radios, emergency locator beacons, satellite phones, and cell phones can all be important devices in an emergency.

What better way to celebrate the week than a Free Fishing Weekend? This weekend, Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, residents of Louisiana can enjoy fishing regardless of obtaining a fishing license. LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said in a release, “Each year, we designate a weekend of free fishing as an incentive for families and friends to enjoy our beautiful Sportsman’s Paradise. Bring a neighbor, a friend, or a family member and let them experience the great fishing Louisiana has to offer.” Licenses can be purchased and renewed here.