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      RS 56:325.4     


§325.4. Commercial taking of other saltwater finfish; exceptions; mesh size

            A. During the 1995-1996 and the 1996-1997 season for taking mullet and the two seasons for taking spotted sea trout as defined in R.S. 56:325.3(C), all other species of saltwater finfish, including but not limited to black drum, sheepshead, and flounder, may be taken using a pompano strike net, as defined in R.S.56:8. This gear license and the use of this gear for taking these species shall be prohibited after March 1, 1997. There shall be no commercial taking of finfish pursuant to the provisions of this Section during the period from 5:00 a.m. on Saturday through 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. There shall be no fishing pursuant to the provisions of this Section during the hours after sunset and before sunrise. The provisions of this Section are subject to quotas and size limits as established by law and rules and regulations of the commission.

            B.(1) No person shall be issued a license or permit for the commercial taking of underutilized species 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 fishery for these species: black drum (also known as puppy drum), sheepshead, and flounder. Such rules shall include the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection as minimum requirements.

            (3) The commercial taking of black drum (also known as puppy drum), sheepshead, and flounder during the season by using a pompano strike net in excess of one thousand two hundred feet in length or by using more than one strike net from any vessel at any time is prohibited.

            (4) Each pompano strike net shall have attached to it a tag issued by the department which states the name, address, and social security number of the owner of the net and the permit number of the permit issued to commercially take black drum (also known as puppy drum), sheepshead, and flounder. The department shall not issue any tag to a person who does not have a social security number.

            C. Any person convicted of any offense involving fisheries laws or regulations shall forfeit any permit or license issued to commercially take these species and shall be forever barred from receiving any permit or license to commercially take these species. Any person who, after having been barred from the commercial taking of these species of fish pursuant to this Subsection, violates any provision of this Section shall be penalized under the provisions of a Class 7-B violation, R.S. 56:37.

            D.(1) The commission shall monitor and evaluate the condition of the black drum, sheepshead, and flounder species in Louisiana waters and establish management targets to ensure a sustainable population. A report of the status of each stock and an evaluation of management measures shall be submitted every five years to the legislature no later than March first of that year.

            (2) If data indicate that a fishery is not meeting or is likely not to meet the established targets, the department shall provide for the commission's consideration management options to ensure that the species can meet the management targets established for that species.

            Acts 1995, No. 1316, §2; Acts 1997, No. 527, §1, eff. July 3, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1413, §1, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 2008, No. 38, §1; Acts 2010, No. 607, §1; Acts 2015, No. 205, §1.

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