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May 05, 2012

Louisiana to Defy NOAA Fisheries on Red Snapper Fishing

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is moving to implement a "Louisiana-only" red snapper season starting in 2013 that will allow anglers a far longer season than federal regulations permit.

In an announcement on May 4, Louisiana fisheries officials reacted to an unprecedented 40-day red snapper season this year for red snapper in the western Gulf of Mexico by announcing a formal break from NOAA fisheries starting in 2013. That means, like Texas, Louisiana will no longer mirror red snapper seasons set for federal waters by adopting the same regulations for state waters. Instead, it plans to implement a "Louisiana-only" red snapper recreational season which will last far longer, from late March through September in state waters. In addition, the Lousiana Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider extending the definition of state waters from the traditional 9 statute miles to 9 nautical miles or slightly over 10 statute miles, thereby adding to the area that anglers can legally fish for red snapper during the Louisiana-only season.