The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) has adopted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to set an annual closed season for the recreational and commercial harvest of Southern Flounder from October 15 through November 30 of each year. Modifications in this rule create one statewide closed season for Southern Flounder for both the recreational and commercial sectors.
This closed season is necessary to attempt to recover the stock of Southern Flounder, which is overfished based on results from the most recent flounder stock assessment. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) staff briefed the LWFC on management options necessary to recover the stock. Those options require a minimum of a 50% reduction in mature female Southern Flounder harvest. The LWFC chose to move forward with an annual closed season in the fall to allow mature female flounder to escape inshore waters and move offshore to spawn. The closed season is projected to help the stock recover to a healthy biomass target by 2028.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to [email protected] prior to noon on May 2, 2022. The full notice of intent can be found here.