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      RS 56:325.3     

  

§325.3.  Spotted sea trout commercial taking; annual quota; red drum commercial taking, possession, or landing prohibited

A.(1)  The commission shall establish a maximum annual quota for the commercial harvest of spotted sea trout taken within Louisiana waters or landed in Louisiana which shall not exceed one million pounds nor shall it be less than five hundred thousand pounds.  The commercial taking or harvesting of spotted sea trout shall be prohibited within Louisiana waters west of Mermentau River.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission shall establish an open season for the commercial harvest of spotted sea trout which shall run from the second day of January each year until the maximum annual quota is reached.  The commercial harvest or taking of spotted sea trout is prohibited during the period from sunset on Friday through sunrise on Monday, and there shall be no possession of spotted sea trout in excess of the recreational limit during the period between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.  However, when not on a commercial fishing trip, a person holding a permit for the commercial taking or possessing of spotted sea trout may take or possess an amount not to exceed the legal recreational limit of spotted sea trout between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. during the open season and at any time during the closed season if that person also possesses a basic recreational fishing license and a saltwater fishing license.  Only a rod and reel shall be used for the commercial harvest of spotted sea trout.  The provisions of this Section are subject to quotas and size limits as established by law and rules and regulations of the commission.  Fish taken under recreational licenses shall not be sold, bartered, traded, or exchanged.

(2)  The department shall monitor catch statistics for spotted sea trout and shall notify the commission when it is determined that the quota has been reached or is projected to be reached.  When the quota has been reached or is projected to be reached, the commission shall by public notice close the spotted sea trout fishery to all commercial fishing in Louisiana waters.  The closure shall not take effect for at least seventy-two hours after notice to the public.  The closure and notice of closure shall provide that the purchase, barter, trade, or sale of spotted sea trout taken from Louisiana waters after the closure is prohibited.  The closure and notice of closure shall also provide that the commercial taking or landing of spotted sea trout in Louisiana, whether caught within or without the territorial waters of Louisiana, after the closure is prohibited.  The closure and notice of closure shall, in addition, provide that no vessel possessing or fishing any seine net, gill net, trammel net, or hoop net shall have a spotted sea trout aboard the vessel, whether caught within or without the waters of the state.

(3)  Nothing in this Section shall be deemed to prohibit the possession of fish legally taken prior to the closure order.

B.  The commercial taking or landing of red drum in Louisiana is prohibited.  No vessel possessing or fishing any seine net, gill net, trammel net, or hoop net shall have a red drum aboard the vessel, whether caught within or without the waters of the state.  Violation of the provisions of this Subsection constitutes a class 5-B violation.  Aquaculturally raised fish, as defined by R.S. 56:356, shall be exempt from the provisions of this Section.

C.  The commercial taking or sale by a commercial fisherman of spotted sea trout is prohibited except by special permit issued by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at a cost of one hundred dollars for residents of this state and four hundred dollars for those who are nonresidents.  No person shall purchase spotted sea trout from any commercial fisherman who does not possess a spotted sea trout permit.  No person shall qualify for a charter boat fishing guide license and a spotted sea trout permit during the same licensure period.

D.(1)  No person shall be issued a license or permit for the commercial taking of spotted sea trout unless that person meets all of the following requirements:

(a)  The person shall provide proof that he purchased a valid Louisiana commercial saltwater gill net license in any two of the years 1995, 1994, and 1993.

(b)  The person shall provide copies of unamended, original income tax returns, including Schedule C from the federal form 1040, which show that the person derived more than fifty percent of his earned income from the capture and sale of seafood species in any two of the years 1995, 1994, and 1993.

(c)  The applicant shall not have been convicted of any fishery-related violations that constitute a class three or greater violation.

(2)  The commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the entry of commercial fishermen into the commercial spotted sea trout fishery.  Such rules shall include the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection as minimum requirements.

E.  The department shall not issue nor shall any person receive more than one permit or license to commercially take spotted sea trout.

F.(1)  Violation of any provision of this Section, except Subsection B, or of any Wildlife and Fisheries Commission regulation pertaining to spotted sea trout fishery, shall constitute a Class 6 violation.  The offender shall also be penalized as follows:

(a)  For a first offense, the offender shall forfeit any spotted sea trout permit or commercial fisherman's license issued to him and shall be barred from obtaining a spotted sea trout permit or a commercial fisherman's license for the remainder of the period for which it was issued plus one year, during which the offender shall be barred from participating in any spotted sea trout fishery.

(b)  For a second offense, the offender shall forfeit any spotted sea trout permit or commercial fisherman's license issued to him and shall be barred from obtaining a spotted sea trout permit or a commercial fisherman's license for the remainder of the period for which it was issued plus two years, during which the offender shall be barred from participating in any spotted sea trout fishery.

(c)  For a third offense, the offender shall forfeit any spotted sea trout permit or commercial fisherman's license issued to him and shall be forever barred from obtaining a spotted sea trout permit or a commercial fisherman's license and from participating in the spotted sea trout fishery.

(2)  Any person who participates in the spotted sea trout fishery while barred shall be penalized under the provisions of a Class 7-B violation.

Acts 1987, No. 382, §1; Acts 1988, No. 889, eff. July 21, 1988; Acts 1991, No. 157, §1, eff. July 2, 1991; Acts 1995, No. 1316, §2; Acts 1997, No. 527, §1, eff. July 3, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1413, §1, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 271, §1; Acts 2003, No. 1164, §1; Acts 2004, No. 96, §1; Acts 2010, No. 979, §1.



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