Next weekend, June 8-9, Louisiana’s celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week includes Free Fishing Days.

You’ll not need a license to catch fish in the state, but you will have to heed all size and daily creel limits.

Two retail giants in the Capital City area, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s will kick off the celebration with a “Gone Fishing” initiative by donating rods and reels to local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Elite Sports-Baton Rouge as part of a national plan to donate 55,000 rods and reels to youth charities.

Gone Fishing continues on the June 8-9 and June 15-16 weekends at both the Denham Springs’ Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s in Gonzales with fishing-related family activities. It’s an effort to get youngsters away from TV and video games and get them outside to enjoy a lifetime sport.

Over snapper limits

After Wildlife and Fisheries’ Enforcement Division agents cited 10 during the first week of the recreational red snapper season, it’s clear offshore fishermen need to be able to count to two.

That’s the daily limit for taking red snapper during the weekends-only season, the fish must be at least 16 inches long, and the snapper must be kept intact — not filleted — while fishermen are on the water.

That last requirement added to the potential fines Westley Wood, 22, of Columbus, Mississippi, 56-year-old Reginald Marks, of Lafayette, and Adrian Alexander, 38, of Gray face in the coming months.

According to the LDWF’s report, the Enforcement Division received a tip the three were on an oil supply boat heading into Belle Pass when agents stopped the vessel and found the three with red snapper taken out of the season, over the limit of snapper and having gray triggerfish, a species with a closed season. Two of the men had no fishing licenses.

They face fines of up to $1,250 and 225 days in jail. Marks is likely to face another $180 in civil restitution fines, the replacement cost of the grey triggerfish and red snapper and Wood and Alexander could have another $112 added for the red snapper.

In a separate case, Enforcement Division agents nabbed seven for alleged snapper violations in St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.

Of the seven, only Shantelle Petrovich, of Belle Chasse, and 55-year-old Michael Keel, from Slidell, are from Louisiana. The others were James Allen, 55, of Pass Christian, Mississippi; and Flordians Charles McNulty, 35, if Tampa; Gerald Popejoy IV, 27, of Pinellas Park; and Kristofer Haddon, 40, of Holiday.

All were cited for allegedly taking over the red snapper daily limit, and Keel faces additional penalties for allegedly, from the report, “concealment of illegal fish when agents found him attempting to sink a red snapper that was over the limit.”

The last, 40-year-old Joseph Bellande, of Meraux, had two snapper but allegedly had no basic nor saltwater licenses, and no recreational offshore landing permit.

The reminder to all heading out for a red snapper trip is to get both basic and saltwater licenses, and get the fee-free recreational offshore landing permit. The ROLP is available on the LDWF website: rolp.wlf.la.gov.

White Lake hunts

The LDWF is opening the White Lake Conservation Area for 12-hunter hunts during the 2019-202 waterfowl season.

Applications are due June 25, and there’s a $30,000 fee for the two-day hunts that includes lodging and meals.

Applications are available on the LDWF website: wlf.louisiana.gov/refuge/lottery-applications. Completed applications must have a $2,500 deposit.

The website will have the listed hunt dates, and a random drawing will be held for dates with more than one application, and, after June 25, any unsold hunts after the application deadline will be sold on a first-come first-serve basis.

Call Wayne Sweeney at (337) 536-9400, Ext. 1. Email: wsweeney@wlf.la.gov.

There’s more

A delay in the opening of the Morganza Spillway means the LDWF will delay the Sherburne WMA's gun range until Wednesday and the full closure of the WMA will come Thursday. It will remain closed until further notice. ... Heath Penell, of Plaquemine, and Baton Rougean Jordan Davenport will fish for LSU in the Tuesday-through-Thursday 155-team Yeti FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River. The event will be streamed live on the FLWFishing.com.