Louisiana’s recreational offshore fishermen could get even more days on the water to pursue red snapper after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved new alternative.

During its January meeting, the council set up the percentage base among the five Gulf states, and Louisiana will get 19.12 percent of the total allowable annual recreation quota.

It’s the number Louisiana sought in the new guidelines for red snapper management in the Gulf’s state and federal waters. Other states percentages included, Florida, 44.822 percent; Alabama, 26.298; Texas, 6.21; and, Mississippi, 3.55.

Louisiana has been operating on a factor near 15 percent take from the annual quota for the past several years.

Another part of the plan allows for an increase or a penalty in 2020 based on each state’s landings during he 2019 exempted fishing permit season.

Owing to the accuracy of the state’s LA Creel accounting methods, Louisiana has come in under its allowed catch during the 2018 and 2019 recreational red snapper seasons.

The Gulf Council planned to take up the Reef Fish Amendment 50, the long-sought after State Red Snapper Management move, during a special meeting called for Feb. 18 in Florida, but canceled that meeting because it lacked the proper time for posting a meeting notice.

These two guidelines, along with the amendment is expected to have final votes taken during the GMFMC’s April meeting.

Among the elite

Louisiana Mississippi River delta has made FishingBooker’s 12 Ultimate Bucket List Fishing Trips, a website for booking fishing charters, and is the only place on the list in the country’s contiguous 48 states.

The only other U.S. destinations are the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Others making the top 12 include Los Roques, Venezuela; the Andaman Islands, India; Cairns, Australia; Prince Edward Island, Canada; Watamu, Kenya; Amazon River, Brazil; Congo River in central Africa; The Mongolian Highlands; and, the Ebro River in Spain.

The website’s staff used factors like world record history, industry knowledge, and what it called “personal bucket lists of our staff and traveling anglers.”

Here’s what the staff said: “The Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana holds a special place in our list. Just a stone's throw from New Orleans, the Mississippi Delta is the best place for catching monsters such as bull redfish and ‘gator’ seatrout … along with a chance to explore nature at its best, and spot bald eagles, blue and white herons, alligators, egrets and much more.”

Pennington grant

The Baton Rouge-based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation has made a $100,000 grant to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to train instructors Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, which is designed to teach youngsters across the state about about fishing and conservation.

“The grant will help us increase our classroom activities and aquatic education events,” LDWF biologist and AVIP manager Danica Williams said.“Success will mean more individuals being confident as they participate in the outdoors, especially fishing.”

Lee the winner

Jordan Lee made his first steps in to big-time bass fishing when he was a Auburn Tiger winning collegiate bass-fishing nationals at age 21. He followed that by becoming only the third angler to win back-to-back Bassmaster Classic titles, and now he’s made his mark in the next big thing. He won the first Major League Fishing event Sunday on Lake Garcia near Kissimmee, Florida.,

The 27-year-old reigning Classic champion outdueled former Classic champ Edwin Evers in the unusual scoring — all fish caught are weighed in released. Lee caught 26 bass for a 55-pound, 1-ounce total to Evers’ 44-3.

None of the three south Louisiana anglers in the original 80-angler field, Greg Hackney, Cliff Crochet and Gerald Spohrer, reached the final in the six-day tournament.

MLF’s next stop comes quickly, Feb. 12-17 on Lake Conroe in east Texas.

Shameful

LDWF Enforcement Division agents cited four four Plaquemines Parish men for allegedly taking deer “during illegal hours” and “hunting” from a public road last Friday.

The four, all from Belle Chasse were William Dillman, Devin Bourgeios, Paul Hammer, and Jerry Vicknair Jr. were sighted by agents while on patrol on Buccaneer Road near the Belle Chasse Naval Air Station.

According to the LDWF’s posting, Dillman also was cited “for making numerous threats to the agents and he was arrested for threatening a public official and public intimidation,” and Hammer was arrested after agents witnessed him “operate an ATV on a public roadway while impaired.”

All four face fines up to $1,400 and 180 days in jail, while Dillman could be fined an additional $1,500 and years of jail time. Hammer’s DWI charge means he faces up to an additional $1,000 fin and six months more time in jail.