Louisiana is definitely the Sportsman Paradise for anglers hoping to catch red snapper.
Latest estimates from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries show that the catch total is still thousands of pounds below the mark that would signal the end of the red snapper season.
The latest catch statistics recorded by LDWF's LA Creel, the department's near real-time data collecting program, is 736,159 pounds covering the period ending July 23. The last reported catch amount was 709,595 pounds, covering the period through July 16.
The state's self-imposed cutoff number is 1.04 million pounds for 2017. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has ordered LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to end the red snapper season when it appears Louisiana's harvest will meet the set limit.
LDWF believes that being accountable for the state's catch limit will improve its chances of receiving federal government permission allowing Louisiana to oversee its own red snapper season out 200 nautical miles from its coast.
The red snapper fishing season was extended 39 days as part of an agreement reached earlier this summer involving Louisiana, the four other Gulf states – Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida - and the U.S. Department of Commerce. It allowed recreational anglers to fish out 200 miles from the Louisiana coast for red snapper for 39 days. The dates left on the schedule are Aug. 4-6, Aug. 11-13, Aug 18-20, Aug. 25-27, and Sept. 1-4.
Any dates after this weekend will be cancelled immediately if the limit is reached before Sept. 4.
Also under the agreement there would be no red snapper fishing in state waters – out nine miles from the Louisiana coast – on Mondays through Thursdays, except on July 3-4 and September 4. Anglers are limited to two fish, measuring at least 16 inches, per day.
*For more information on the 2017 red snapper landings estimates, view the documents below.