For Immediate Release
October 2, 2015
Contact: Rene LeBreton
LDWF updates Commissioners on LA Creel’s red snapper season data
Yesterday, LDWF staff updated the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on the 2015 state and federal recreational red snapper landings from the LA Creel program. LA Creel precisely monitors recreational landings in near real-time, allows fishery managers to make decisions on a regional level throughout the state and enables LDWF to set flexible seasons that allow anglers to take full advantage of available fishery resources. This program has been critical in establishing a recreational red snapper season in state waters to extend Louisiana’s season beyond the federal season.
LA Creel is a replacement for the federal recreational fishing survey MRIP. Private recreational anglers have been blamed for previous overharvests, which were actually due to mismanaged federal seasons set using unreliable data from MRIP.
This year, LA Creel estimated that Louisiana’s recreational fishermen landed a total of 993,963 pounds of red snapper through September 8, 2015 when Louisiana’s state water red snapper season was closed. These landings account for 92% of our historical average for both the private angler and charter boat components of the recreational sector (1,082,786 pounds). (Recently the recreational sector was divided into these two components through sector separation.)
During the 2015 season, our private recreational anglers landed 763,248 pounds of red snapper during the state and federal seasons. These landings were within 2.6% of our target of 744,238 pounds.
Louisiana charter boats only landed 230,715 pounds of red snapper, 68% of their 338,548-pound target. “Sector separation initially seemed like a victory for our federally permitted charter captains as they were given 45 days to fish red snapper in federal waters,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “However, due to federal regulations (Amendment 30B), they were unable to take advantage of the extended state season and harvest their full allocation. We are considering an additional fall red snapper season to allow our anglers an opportunity to harvest the remaining red snapper.”
We would like to thank our anglers for supporting a saltwater license fee increase to fund LA Creel, which allows the department to provide our anglers an opportunity to fully enjoy this public resource,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.
Additional Benefits of LA Creel
LDWF promised anglers that LA Creel would show a return on their investment when they supported the program. Not only have we used LA Creel to helped anglers by extending the red snapper season, but we are also proud to announce the Fishing Professor, a new tool that takes near real-time data from LA Creel and shows users where, when, and what kinds of fish are caught across our coast. Users can select specific types of fish and can even hone in on specific fishing areas and marinas in which fish were caught or landed. With access to this information, anglers can better plan and prepare for their fishing trips.
“We collect tons of valuable data, and we think it’s important to put these data to work for our anglers and help make sure they have successful fishing trips,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.
LDWF would like to remind our fishing license holders to update their contact information at www.la.wildlifelicense.com/start.php. Without the ability to contact our anglers through a brief fishing effort survey, LA Creel would not be successful. Additionally, when you update your contact information, you will be entered in our License to Win! Sweepstakes and will be eligible for monthly and grand prizes.
For more information about LA Creel, red snapper management and other LDWF Office of Fisheries programs, visit FishLA.org. Please use the comment form on the website to let us know how we can make this website a more valuable resource for you.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at www.wlf.la.gov/signup.