Commercial Fishing

Louisiana Commercial Fishermen

Commercial fishing is a crucial part of the heritage, culture and commerce along Louisiana’s coast.  Our state is home to the most productive seafood industry in the lower 48—about 1 billion pounds of seafood, on average, is landed in Louisiana each year for commercial sale, with an estimated dockside value of $300 million.  Louisiana seafood fuels our economy, and feeds a global population.

Commercial fishing is both a science and an art.  The ‘art’ of commercial fishing can only be learned through doing—reading the tides, locating good spots for catch, experimenting to find the gear and bait that works for you.  But this is only one part of the commercial fisherman’s business.  Our goal, through Louisiana Fisheries Forward, is to help fishermen understand the ‘science’ of fishing—the business trends, new technologies and equipment, and regulatory rules and policies that lead to financial success AND resource preservation.

The curriculum included here covers a wide variety of topics to help commercial fishermen understand licensing and permitting requirements, trip tickets and federal reporting, receiving, handling and storing catch, and responsible and safe fishing.

Be sure to check out the video, download our Fast Facts, and visit the resource links below for the full picture of how to be a successful commercial fisherman; and check back often for updates to this page.

This video is for educational purposes only.  Watching this video does not fulfill the basic requirements for the LDWF Commercial Crab Gear Requirement; for more information visit:

shorebirds and pelican in shallow water at Grand Isle
shrimp boats at pier

Fisheries management in Louisiana is firmly rooted in science.  Biologists with LDWF, Sea Grant and NOAA monitor environmental conditions, species populations, and other biological data to determine seasons, catch limits, gear requirements, handling practices and more.  We are determined to work together with fishermen to maintain healthy fish populations and habitat for the benefit of all.

Latest Commercial Fishing News

People returning derlict crab traps

LDWF: 2023 Derelict Crab Trap Cleanup Event; Volunteers and Sponsors Needed

October 5, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host its annual Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo volunteer cleanup event this February.  LDWF encourages volunteers and sponsors to participate in these events to make the crab trap rodeos successful in 2023 and keep our Sportsman’s Paradise pristine. Volunteers Volunteers will help…

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loading oyster cultch onto boat

LDWF has Completed the Construction of Two Oyster Reefs in Drum Bay

September 15, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has completed the construction of two oyster reefs totaling approximately 230 acres in Drum Bay (St. Bernard Parish) to increase oyster habitat and fisheries production. The construction process, known as cultch planting, is a proven habitat improvement technique used by LDWF. This…

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Close up of redfish face

Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Stock Assessment Schedule

September 13, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is currently conducting stock assessments on important recreational and commercial fish stocks, including Redfish (Red Drum), in Louisiana state waters. Stock assessments are computer-modeled simulations of fish populations that incorporate life history metrics (age, growth, reproduction), stock abundance information (survey catch effort),…

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