Finfish

Louisiana Finfish Fishery

Louisiana Fisheries Forward has put together a wide variety of topics from multiple government and industry organizations, to help saltwater finfish fishermen understand licensing and reporting requirements, harvest regulations, seasonal rule changes, and best handling methods to provide both consumer finfish products, and fish used for bait, feed and fish oil (menhaden in particular).

More than 97% of Louisiana’s total finfish harvest (in pounds) is menhaden. However, there is renewed consumer interest in ‘wild-caught fish’ that is increasing demand for well-known favorites like tuna and red snapper, as well as underutilized species like flounder, black drum and sheepshead.  Louisiana ranks 2nd in the harvest of finfish in the nation, and opportunities abound in this fishery.

As we continue to add information this web site, visit the resource links below for more information on regulations, product handling, gear and equipment, and responsible fishing practices.

red snapper
hooks on a basket

Finfishing regulations are determined by the boundary between federal and state waters; at this time, Louisiana claims state waters out to nine nautical miles from the nearest land (in some cases can extend further). However, gear that is restricted in Louisiana state waters is restricted only out to three nautical miles. The federal government currently claims waters beginning at three nautical miles in many fisheries, meaning the area from three to nine nautical miles may be enforced differently by each entity, and depending on which fishery you are participating. Please check with your local Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement office.

Latest Industry News

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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menahden boats

Notice of Intent to Require Reporting of Commercial Menhaden Harvest

September 1, 2022

At the September 1, 2022 meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) passed a notice of intent to create regulations requiring monthly reporting from the commercial menhaden reduction fishery. The proposed rule is mandated by Act 759 of the 2022 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. Act 759 requires the LWFC to…

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school of red snapper swimming in blue water

Gulf Council Recommends Modifying Red Snapper Catch Limits

August 29, 2022

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took final action on a framework action to modify red snapper catch limits. The Council chose to decrease the overfishing limit and increase the acceptable biological catch, annual catch limits, and annual catch targets. The state specific private angling annual catch limits are calculated…

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