Cobia Bag Limits to be Reduced LFWC Adopts Notice of Intent
Eugene L. 01.10.23
Proponents for stricter regulations for cobia(Rachycentron canadum) can now rejoice, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) has adopted a new Notice of Intent (NOI) regarding cobia this week. The new notice of intent proposes a decrease in the current 2 fish daily bag limit to a 1 fish daily per person. Along with the r daily limit reduction it will establish a two fish per vessel / per day limit regardless of the count of people on the vessel and the number of trips a day for both recreational and commercial harvest. The size limit will remain the same for cobia at 36 inches minimum length.
The federal regulations for Cobia in federal Gulf waters were changed in 2022. This was done by NOAA, through the Gulf Council. The most recent Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review population assessment for the Gulf of Mexico migratory group cobia (SEDAR 38 Update) prompted the change in regulations. It showed the stock of gulf cobias was not overfished yet but was undergoing overfishing. To keep them from being overfished a reduction in annual catch limits is needed to address the issue of cobia overfishing.
For the gulf coast states, until now only Florida and Alabama have had the smaller limit of only 1 fish per person a day with a vessel limit of 2. Mississippi and Texas both still have a 2 fish per person a day. Now with Louisiana on board with the smaller limit, there is a better chance for the cobia to come back like they once were in the past.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to [email protected] before noon on April 6, 2023. The full notice of intent can be found here.