Happy Thanksgiving: Snapper season to briefly open 7 days a week

When the clock strikes midnight tonight, red snapper season will be open in Louisiana – 7 days a week.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet announced yesterday that he’s signed a declaration of emergency to modify the recreational red snapper season from weekends only to a seven-day per week season from Nov. 28, 2019 to the end of the year or until the remaining quota of snapper (27,582 pounds) is reached or projected to be reached.

Latest catch statistics provided by LA Creel, LDWF’s near-real-time data collection program shows that harvest rates are low enough right now to allow for the expansion of the season to 7 days a week.

The private recreational red snapper season started on May 24 in both state and federal waters. The season ran weekends only (except holidays) with a daily bag limit of two fish per person and a 16-inch total length minimum size limit.

This is the second year Louisiana is operating under its Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP), which allows the state to manage the private recreational red snapper season in state and federal waters. Under the EFP, participating anglers are allowed to fish red snapper in the state territorial seas and adjoining federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), from shore to 200 nautical miles, during the season set by the LDWF Secretary or Commission. NOAA Fisheries continues to regulate federal for-hire vessels (charter and headboats) under a separate season which has already closed. State charter captains (those who do not have a federal Gulf of Mexico charter permit for reef fish) may only fish for red snapper in state waters when the state recreational red snapper season is open.