Louisiana Extends State Waters from 3 miles to 10.357 miles

LDWF officials want to remind the public that state regulations are now applicable out to three marine leagues or 10.357 miles based on recent action by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.   

The commission approved this action at this month’s meeting based on Act 336 passed during the 2011 legislative session, which recognizes that the Louisiana gulfward boundary historically consists of three marine leagues and designates that boundary to be enforced by state law regarding the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources and regulation of activities affecting them.

 A map illustrating the new boundary is available here <http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/document/35569-revised-louisiana-gulfward-boundary/ldwf_revisedboundary_bmm38484_041612_8pt5x11.pdf> .   As an additional resource, an interactive map with GPS coordinates is now available on LDWF’s website at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/revised-louisiana-gulfward-boundary.

 With this action, boaters and anglers are reminded that all state regulations previously enforced within the three mile boundary will be applicable to the expanded waters.  These include, but are not limited to the following.

 Recreational and commercial licenses for all activities requiring a license will now be required for residents and non-residents out to 10.357 miles.

 In Louisiana offshore territorial waters, out to 10.357 miles, each shrimping vessel shall, in addition to one test trawl, only use nets that do not exceed a total maximum per vessel length of 130 feet of cork line and 165 feet of lead line.

 Also, the possession of gill nets, trammel nets, strike nets or seines on or aboard any vessel in the saltwater areas of the state out to 10.357 miles is prohibited unless the captain or owner of the vessel has possession of an LDWF issued traversing permit.  While traversing state waters going to and from federal waters, all gill nets, trammel nets, strike nets, or seines shall remain on board the vessel and shall not be used while in state waters.  Those fishermen convicted of possessing these nets or seines without a traversing permit will have their permits revoked permanently without the possibility for renewal.  Traversing permit holders are required to abide by all other regulations as required by the permit holder.

 Until the time when the US Congress confirms the commission’s action, fishermen are urged to use caution and their own personal judgment when fishing beyond the three mile boundary that is currently recognized as federal waters, as it is fully expected that federal agents and the U.S. Coast Guard will continue to enforce federal law.  LDWF agents will also enforce federal regulations which are concurrent with state law within the new zone.

 The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov <http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/> , on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb <http://www.facebook.com/ldwffb> , or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.