LWF Commission Overturns Decision to Allow Recreational Catch and Release Fishing in Closed Areas
BATON ROUGE (July 8, 2010) - Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission chose to reinstitute a complete closure to recreational fishing in all Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries closure areas. This action by the commission reverses the Secretary of the Department's decision earlier this week to allow the recreational catch and release of finfish in closed areas.
Fishermen may continue to transit through closed areas with fish legally harvested from open waters but may not fish in any closed area.
Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented by the Secretary based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.
The Secretary's authority for these closures limits the duration of his actions to 7 days following the next scheduled monthly commission meeting and requires the Commission to revisit the Secretary's action to extend the effective date . The Commission heard extensive public testimony before voting to remove the allowance of recreational catch and release fishing in the closed areas.
LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.