Redfish

Image Credit: Joel Vandekrol

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Guide Organization Calls to Protect Louisiana’s Redfish Resource


On July 6, the Louisiana fishing guide community flooded the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting and let the state know that the recommended reductions are not enough to ensure the stability of their businesses. To the surprise of many, the LWFC did something amazing: they listened and moved to protect the resource. The state had suggested a 35 percent reduction at the time. This reduction would allow for the escapement rate to hit 30 percent, but it would not rebuild spawning potential ratio until 2050.

Redfish in Louisiana are managed on Escapement Rate. You can view our video below for a detailed explanation. We along with many others believe the economy of Louisiana is driven by bull redfish.

Furthermore, the escapement rate represents just a percentage of juvenile fish surviving to adulthood. If there is a bad spawn related to a lack of adult fish, a 30 percent escapement rate can still be achieved. In simpler terms, 30 percent of 10,000,000 would be preferred over 30 percent of 100,000. Spawning potential ratio may not be used for management, but it could be even more critical than escapement rate for the future of this fishery.

A notice of intent was issued for an 18- to 24-inch slot with no take for bull redfish and no guide limit. This NOI represents a 55 percent reduction that would rebuild SPR in only 12 years (versus an almost 30 year x 35 percent reduction proposal). While this proposal is outstanding in theory, this meeting proposal is only the first step. This NOI has to be approved by the state legislature — and that’s where the American Saltwater Guides Association needs your voice to keep the ball rolling.

The organization’s letter of support for this notice of intent can be found here. The organization implores members of the sportfishing industry to sign its letter and amplify your voice as a conservationist in support of resource-forward management. It is asking for everyone from across the country to let Louisiana know how important this fishery is. The regulations have not been updated since 1988. These opportunities do not come around very often and could be the only chance to support the LWFC’s extremely courageous and conservation-minded decision to do something impactful for redfish, our guides, and future generations of anglers.

Whether you’re a Louisiana resident in love with the iconic residents of your home waters, a returning angler who prioritizes experiencing the bayou every year, or a hopeful angler aiming to visit one day, your voice matters. Let the state of Louisiana know what redfish mean to you.