The following was sent to me by Bob Zales, President of the National Charterboat Operators Association. What it means is Louisiana has changed from claiming only out to 2 miles offshore as “State jurisdiction” for fisheries regulations, and now lays claim to everything up to ten miles out. In the western part of that state’s coast, this will not mean much, as offshore waters are relatively shallow and require a long run to the “snapper grounds”. Off the Mississippi Delta, however deep water – and species like red snapper – is found very close to shore. Because Louisiana – like Texas – is being “punished” for not gong along with restrictive federal snapper regulations, NOAA plans to slap them with a very short red snapper “season” in the federal waters off the state’s coastline. As Bob reports, state agencies do not plan to enforce federal regulations inside of 10 miles from land, instead allowing anglers to follow the more liberal state guidelines. NOAA and NMFS apparently plan to try to make cases for fed snapper “violations’ in that same “zone”, and it will be very enlightening to see how successful they are at doing that!
“The first shot over the nmfs bow will take place this Saturday off the LA coast and rec red snapper fishing in LA waters begins their first of many red snapper weekends. LA now considers their jurisdiction to be up to 10 miles offshore. I understand that LDWF enforcement will not enforce the harvest of rec red snapper inside the 10 mile limit unless the bag limit has been exceeded or size limit to small. The bag limit is 3 red snapper per person. The uscg and the nmfs enforcement will be making cases inside the 10 mile limit. The nmfs has provided for a 9 day season in the eez off LA beginning June 1.
This will be first of many such weekends and will be interesting to watch to see how many cases are made, how many end up in court, and how aggressive the nmfs gets.
GAME ON !!!!!!!!!”
Texas fishermen should be watching how this plays out, because our state seems poised to take a similar stand against federal snapper laws, although no official plan has yet been announced from Austin.