After years of work, progress is finally being made on improving management of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Coast states have each submitted plans to take over management of the recreational fishery in federal waters off their shores. This is a HUGE development and holds the most promise to finally bring rational management to this troubled fishery.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has submitted a two-year plan (Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application) that is projected to allow it to manage anglers fishing from private boats as well as charter/for-hire vessels for an extended season (possibly as long as 60 days) in 2018. This is a significant improvement over the three-day season allowed by federal managers in 2017.

NOAA is seeking public comment on Louisiana’s EFP application, and it is critical that recreational anglers voice their support.

While the length of the red snapper season is important, there are several other key issues in play for Louisiana anglers to consider in this plan. CCA Louisiana believes it is critical that both anglers fishing from their own boats and those fishing on charter/for-hire vessels be managed by the state. We believe LDWF is best suited to provide the most access to this public marine resource for ALL anglers and citizens of Louisiana. There are some who are fighting to have Louisiana’s charter boats remain under federal management, which is on course to privatize shares of the red snapper fishery to individual charter/for-hire operators. CCA believes privatizing shares of the red snapper fishery is short-sighted and will ultimately result in less choice, higher costs and poorer trip quality for anglers who use those boats.

CCA Louisiana’s position is that state management of anglers fishing from their own boats and those fishing from charter for-hire vessels is in the best interest of the resource and recreational anglers.  

The EFP will also allow managers the opportunity to evaluate potential differences in effort and catch over the various types of hard structure found in Louisiana’s offshore waters, including structures created through Louisiana’s prolific Artificial Reef Program.

To view the letter that our Executive Director David Cresson submitted explaining CCA Louisiana's support of Louisiana’s EFP, click here.

This is a historic opportunity to get off the federal management roller-coaster for red snapper. We urge all CCA Louisiana members to review the EFP proposal and provide your comments in support of the Louisiana EFP to NOAA.

Thank you for your efforts to protect and conserve our marine resources.

Click here for Talking Points on Louisiana's EFP.