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      RS 56:333     

  

§333.  Mullet; saltwater areas

A.  Mullet may be taken commercially in the saltwater areas of the state as described in R.S. 56:322(B) and 333(C).  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission shall adopt rules to regulate the taking of mullet.  Such regulations, except as provided in Subsection B of this Section, shall provide for zones, permits, fees, and other provisions necessary to implement this Section.

B.(1)  The season for taking mullet shall begin on the third Monday in October of each year and remain open until the third Monday in January.  There shall be no commercial taking of mullet during the period from 5:00 a.m. on Saturday through 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.  Except as provided in R.S. 56:333.3, mullet may not be taken commercially at any time outside of this season.  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.

(2)  Except as provided in R.S. 56:333.3, mullet may only be taken commercially with a mullet strike net.

(3)  The commercial taking of mullet 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.

(4)  The commercial taking of mullet during the season by using a mullet 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.

(5)  Each mullet 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 mullet.  The department shall not issue any tag to a person who does not have a social security number.

C.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in addition to other areas of the state, mullet may also be taken pursuant to the provisions of this Section in the following areas:

(1)  The portion of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds south and west of a line beginning at the most northerly point on the south side of Taylor Pass at Latitude 29° 23' 18" 476 N. (Y-268, 131, 65), Longitude 89° 19' 00" 803 W. (X-2, 642, 161.69); thence run North 32° 32' West for 8.74 miles to a horizontal tank battery located in the vicinity of Battledore Reef and east of Little Battledore Island; thence run North 30° 47' East for 11 miles to the Mississippi River Gulf-Outlet channel at the lighted, privately maintained marker known as station "69-A" and "70-A".

(2)  The portion of the Intracoastal Waterway in Orleans Parish from the overhead power lines at the Interharbor Navigation Canal east to the Rigolets.

(3)  The portion of Lake Pontchartrain located south and east of the Interstate 10 bridge.

D.(1)  No person shall be issued a license or permit for the commercial taking of mullet 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 person shall not have applied for or received any assistance pursuant to R.S. 56:13.1(C).

(2)  The commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the entry of commercial fishermen into the commercial mullet 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 mullet.

F.(1)  Violation of any provision of this Section or of any Wildlife and Fisheries Commission regulation pertaining to mullet 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 mullet permit or mullet strike net license issued to him and shall be barred from obtaining a mullet permit or a mullet strike net 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 mullet fishery.

(b)  For a second offense, the offender shall forfeit any mullet permit or mullet strike net license issued to him and shall be barred from obtaining a mullet permit or a mullet strike net 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 mullet fishery.

(c)  For a third offense, the offender shall forfeit any mullet permit or mullet strike net license issued to him and shall be forever barred from obtaining a mullet permit or a mullet strike net license and from participating in the mullet fishery.

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

G.(1)  The commission shall make an annual peer reviewed and evaluated report to the legislature no later than March first that contains the following information on mullet:

(a)  The spawning potential ratio.

(b)  A biological condition and profile of the species and stock assessment.

(2)  If the report shows that the spawning potential ratio is below thirty percent, the department shall close the season within two weeks for a period of at least one year.

H.  The licenses or permits provided for in this Section and in R.S. 56:305(B)(14) as to residents and nonresidents shall not be transferable from one person to another for a period of three years from August 15, 1995, or until a transfer system is developed by the commission, except in the case of proven physical hardship, as determined within the sole discretion of the commission, and in such event may only be transferred to the spouse, parent/legal guardian, or child/legal dependent of such person.  The commission shall by rule establish a system for the transfer of such licenses or permits within a three-year period. In establishing such a system, the commission shall provide that there shall be no financial gain realized by the transfer of such licenses or permits. Any decision of the commission may be appealed de novo to the Nineteenth Judicial District Court.

I.  Repealed by Acts 2001, No. 147, §2.

Acts 1991, No. 1051, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1316, §2; Acts 1997, No. 527, §1, eff. July 3, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 838, §1; Acts 2001, No. 51, §1; Acts 2001, No. 147, §§1, 2; Acts 2011, No. 65, §1.



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