Wildlife officials announce dates for 2016 red snapper season - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Wildlife officials announce dates for 2016 red snapper season

Jan. 8 marks start of red snapper season Jan. 8 marks start of red snapper season
BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) -

Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, announced that the 2016 red snapper fishing season in state waters will begin at 6 a.m. on Jan. 8 and remain open until further notice. The season will run seven days a week in state waters with a daily bag and possession limit of two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length. 
 
"LDWF will do everything we can to provide our anglers the opportunity to harvest their share of this healthy and thriving resource," said Barham.
 
Assistant Secretary, Randy Pausina said, "Through LA Creel, our recreational landings data collection program, we're able to monitor how much red snapper our anglers harvest in real time. With this data, we can ensure our recreational fishery is fully accountable—we're able to set a fishing season that allows our anglers to harvest their entire share of the catch but also close the season in time to prevent over harvest."
 
Recently signed into law, the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act includes a provision to temporarily extend Louisiana state waters to nine nautical miles for fishery management purposes, an effort championed by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham during his tenure at the agency.
 
Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, added the provision to the Act to push state waters for reef fish management in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama (currently three miles) to nine miles to match the current state water boundaries of Florida and Texas. "We are grateful for the additional provision by Senator Shelby and the recognition by Congress of the nine-mile boundary the State of Louisiana has claimed since 2012," said Secretary Barham. "Because the 2016 Omnibus Appropriation Act applies to the current federal fiscal year, the nine-mile extension is only temporary. However, Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) has proposed a more permanent solution through H.R. 3094; he and his bill have our agency's full support."
 
In 2011, Louisiana state legislators passed Act 336, recognizing that the Gulfward boundary of Louisiana's state waters historically consisted of three marine leagues (9 nautical miles) and designating that boundary to be enforced by state law for the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources, and regulation of activities affecting them.
 
Following the direction of  state legislators and at the request of Secretary Barham, the Commission officially extended state waters from three miles offshore to nine miles offshore for fisheries management purposes and for the benefit of Louisiana fishermen. Secretary Barham said, "I was simply correcting an injustice. If our Florida and Texas neighbors fish a nine-mile state boundary, so should Louisiana fishermen. Unfortunately, it has taken over three years for action on this issue and that action is only temporary. I look forward to the day that all fishermen are treated equally across the Gulf of Mexico."
  
LDWF reminds anglers and charter captains that they must have a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess certain species, including red snapper. They may obtain or renew the permit, free of charge at rolp.wlf.la.gov. Anglers and charter captains may renew their permits up to 30 days prior to expiration. They must have a valid Louisiana fishing license number to obtain a permit; they may use their confirmation number for a temporary (trip) permit.
 
Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip also do not need this permit.

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