Louisiana Finfish Fishery
Louisiana Fisheries Forward has put together a wide variety of topics from multiple government and industry organizations, to help 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.
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.
GET INVOLVED! Your input is needed to successfully manage the finfish fishery. LDWF is creating a Finfish Task Force; watch for notices about this group and/or sign up for alerts from Wildlife and Fisheries, Sea Grant, NOAA Fisheries, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) and other agencies. The Gulf Council often holds public comment opportunities on the management of federally regulated finfish.