§325.6. Bait gulf menhaden; annual quota after regular closed season
A. The Louisiana Legislature finds and declares there is great financial
hardship imposed upon Louisiana crawfish, blue crab, and catfish fishermen
because of insufficient supplies of bait during the winter season. This
insufficiency compels Louisiana fishermen to purchase bait menhaden and
other less effective baits at greatly increased costs from other sources outside
the state. In order to assist these fishermen, the legislature hereby extends the
regular bait gulf menhaden season by adding a quota of bait gulf menhaden to
be taken during the closed season.
B. The maximum quota for the commercial harvest of bait gulf
menhaden, to be used for bait only, taken within Louisiana waters or landed
in Louisiana is established at three thousand metric tons, regardless of the
harvesting method used, after the close of the regular menhaden season until
December first. If the quota has not been reached by December first, then,
beginning on April first of the following year, bait gulf menhaden may be
taken until the department determines that the quota has been met. Any
menhaden taken pursuant to this Section shall be sold only for use as bait.
C. The department shall monitor catch statistics for bait gulf menhaden
and shall notify the commission when it is determined that the quota has been
reached or is projected to be reached. When the quota has been reached or is
projected to be reached, the commission shall by public notice close the bait
menhaden season and fisheries to all commercial fishing in Louisiana waters.
The closure shall not take effect until at least seventy-two hours after notice
to the public. The closure and notice of closure shall provide that the
commercial taking or landing of bait gulf menhaden in Louisiana, whether
caught within or without the territorial waters of Louisiana, after the closure,
is prohibited. The closure and notice of closure shall, in addition, provide that
no vessel possessing or fishing with any seine, gill net, trammel net, or hoop
net shall have bait gulf menhaden aboard the vessel, whether caught within or
without the waters of the state. Nothing in this Section shall be deemed to
prohibit the possession of fish legally taken prior to the closure order.
D. The provisions of this Section shall apply to outside waters only.
E. Violation of the provisions of this Section constitutes a class 5(B)
F. The secretary shall grant special permits for the taking of menhaden
during the special bait season. Each individual or company receiving such a
permit shall reimburse the department for all expenses incurred in the
placement of an observer on each boat participating in the special bait season.
All menhaden caught during this season will be sold for bait.
Acts 1989, No. 414, §1.