LOUISIANA DEPT. OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES URGES REGIONAL MANAGEMENT OF GULF FISHERIES

The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council met in January and is considering a further reduction in the recreational fishing season for red snapper for 2013 to only 27 days. The Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries is taking the position that this is essentially having no season at all, and is suggesting that a more reasonable move would be to have snapper managed on a state-by-state or regional basis, with state agencies in control, working under a federal umbrella – and going on record that Louisiana will go non-compliant if the Gulf Council is unwilling to move towards regional management, on the state’s terms. “There is no confidence in the federal regulations, so it’s time to draw a line in the sand. We hope our fellow Gulf States will join us in rejecting the federal red snapper dates and limits and move forward with our own interpretation of regional management.” Even some Council members are concerned that the current federal Fisheries Management Plan for snapper will effectively end all recreational fishing for red snapper by 2014, if nothing changes. As Bob Zales, a charter fishing captain from Panama City, Florida, and President of the National Association of Charterboat Operators put it, “No matter how you cut it, when fishery management has over built a fishery to the point that anglers catch nothing else, the fish increase in size 2 to 3 pounds every year, the stock expands to other oceans – that is success. And yet the season is closed!” Texas fisheries people have leaned towards regional management of Gulf fisheries for many years, and recently both Louisiana and Florida joined Texas in refusing to match snapper limits in state waters to the more restrictive limits and seasons in federally managed waters of the Gulf.

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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