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      RS 56:325.1     

  

§325.1. Size and possession limits, recreational saltwater finfish; penalties

            A.(1) The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may set by rule, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, daily take, and possession, and size limits for saltwater finfish caught recreationally in Louisiana territorial waters, based on biological and technical data. Aquaculturally raised fish, as defined in R.S. 56:356, shall be exempt from the provisions of this Section.

            (2) With respect to red drum, southern flounder, and spotted sea trout specifically, and until such time as the commission establishes daily take and possession limits for these species in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, the following shall be the legal take, daily bag, and possession limits:

            (a) Red drum -- five fish daily.

            (b) Spotted sea trout -- twenty-five fish daily.

            (c) Southern flounder -- ten fish for each consecutive day on the water.

            (3)(a) A recreational saltwater fisherman in possession of a valid basic and saltwater license may possess twice the daily bag limit of red drum and spotted sea trout; however, no person shall be in possession of over the daily bag limit while fishing or while on the water, unless such recreational saltwater fisherman is aboard a trawler engaged in commercial fishing for a consecutive period of longer than twenty-five hours.

            (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph and R.S. 56:325.2(A) and (B), a fisherman who holds and is in possession of a valid recreational fishing license and can demonstrate to the department's satisfaction use of a boat launch located south of U.S. Highway 90 and that the fisherman has been actively on the water or at a remote camp that can be accessed only by water for two days or more may possess up to the possession limit of filleted red drum, spotted sea trout, and Southern flounder. The filleted fish shall have sufficient skin remaining on the fillet to allow for identification of the species and shall be segregated by species into plastic bags or plastic containers that are marked by species to allow easy identification, the date caught, and the name and license number of the person who took the fish. The spotted sea trout fillets shall be no less than ten inches in length and the red drum shall be no less than fourteen inches in length. The fish shall be in the possession only of the person who took the fish. However, no fisherman shall be actively fishing or engaged in fishing while in possession of more than the daily take limit.

            (4) The possession limit for red drum and spotted sea trout taken south of U.S. Highway 90 shall be three times the daily take limit when the fisherman holds and is in possession of a valid recreational fishing license and can show a landing receipt from a public boat launch located south of U.S. Highway 90 that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that the fisherman has been actively on the water or at a remote camp that can be accessed only by water for two days or more. The fish shall be kept whole or whole gutted in separate bags for each species of fish. The bags shall be marked with the date the fish were taken, the species, the number of fish contained in the bag, and the name and license number of the person taking the fish. The fish shall only be in the possession of the person who took the fish. However, no fisherman shall be actively fishing or engaged in fishing while in possession of more than the daily take limit.

            B. No saltwater sport fisherman shall take or possess at any one time in the Louisiana territorial waters extending to the outermost boundary limit of the Federal Exclusive Economic Zone any red drum, southern flounder, or spotted sea trout under the prescribed minimum size nor over the maximum prescribed size and daily bag limit. Any red drum, southern flounder, or spotted sea trout under the minimum prescribed size or over the maximum prescribed size and daily bag limit shall be returned immediately to the waters from which taken without avoidable injury. Until such time as the commission establishes legal size, daily bag and possession limits for the red drum, southern flounder, and spotted sea trout in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, the following are the legal size, daily bag and possession limits for red drum, southern flounder, and spotted sea trout:

            (1) The minimum size for red drum is sixteen inches in total length when measured with the mouth closed.

            (2) The maximum size for red drum is twenty-seven inches in total length when measured with the mouth closed. However, no person shall have in possession while fishing, or while on the water, more than one red drum which, when whole, is or was over the prescribed maximum size of twenty-seven inches total length overall when measured with the mouth closed. Additionally, no person shall have in his possession at any one time more than two red drum or parts of more than two red drum, which, when whole, are or were over the prescribed maximum size of twenty-seven inches total length overall when measured with the mouth closed.

            (3) The minimum size for spotted sea trout is twelve inches total length when measured with the mouth closed.

            C.(1) Violation of this Section constitutes a class two violation. However, if the take or possession limit as provided in Subparagraphs (A)(2)(a) or (b) or Paragraphs (A)(3) or (4) of this Section or any such take or possession limit set by the commission is exceeded by one hundred percent or more the violation shall be a class four violation.

            (2) In addition to the penalties provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, the following penalties shall apply:

            (a) Violation of Subparagraph (A)(2)(a) or Paragraphs (A)(3) or (4) of this Section for red drum or Paragraph (B)(1) of this Section shall be punishable by a fine of twenty-five dollars per fish under sixteen inches in total length or over the limit of five, or in violation of such minimum size and take and possession limits as may be established by the commission.

            (b) Violation of Paragraph (B)(2) of this Section shall be punishable by a fine of one hundred fifty dollars per fish exceeding twenty-seven inches in total length or such maximum size limit as may be established by the commission.

            (c) Violation of Subparagraph (A)(2)(b) or Paragraphs (A)(3) or (4) of this Section for spotted sea trout or Paragraph (B)(3) of this Section shall be punishable by a fine of twenty-five dollars per fish under twelve inches in total length or over the limit of twenty-five or in violation of such minimum size and take and possession limits as may be established by the commission.

            (d) Any violation of Subsection A or B of this Section shall, in addition to any applicable fines, also be punishable by revocation of any and all fishing licenses held by the violator for the period for which they were issued. The violator shall also be prohibited from obtaining any new fishing license for a period of not less than one year nor more than three years thereafter.

            (e) The fines collected from the penalties imposed under the provisions of this Paragraph shall be collected by the court of competent jurisdiction and remitted to the state treasury to be deposited to the credit of the conservation fund of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

            Added by Acts 1977, No. 653, §3, eff. April 1, 1978. Amended by Acts 1981, No. 837, §3; Acts 1984, No. 278, §1; Acts 1986, No. 613, §1; Acts 1987, No. 383, §1; Acts 1988, No. 889, §1, eff. July 21, 1988; Acts 1990, No. 55, §1; Acts 1990, No. 434, §1; Acts 1991, No. 157, §1, eff. July 2, 1991; Acts 1992, No. 855, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1352, §1; Acts 2018, No. 40, §1, eff. May 10, 2018; Acts 2018, No. 462, §1.



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