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Louisiana

Fishing

General Information

SALE OF RECREATIONAL FISH PROHIBITED

All aquatic species caught must be for personal use only and are not to be sold or used for commercial purposes.

It is illegal to buy, sell or trade any game fish.

Louisiana is known around the world as a premier sport fishing destination. The Office of Fisheries uses scientific management methods to protect and enhance fish environments, habitats and other populations of aquatic species. As an angler, the decisions you make and your catch help us sustain the fisheries for present and future generations.

Best Fishing Practices

General information for Freshwater & Saltwater Anglers

For detailed information about best fishing practices, please visit

www.wlf.la.gov/page/best-fishing-practices. Information includes:

  • Special tools or equipment requirements for certain species
  • Appropriate gear needed for fishing
  • Proper fish handling techniques
  • How to measure a fish
  • Signs of barotrauma in fish and how to reverse it

Know Before You Go!

Want to check the weather and river stages before you leave on your next fishing trip? Call the National Weather Service’s Dial A Forecast for regularly updated marine forecasts.

Shreveport

318-635-7575 or www.weather.gov/shv

Lake Charles

337-439-0000 or www.weather.gov/lch

New Orleans

504-522-7330 or www.weather.gov/lix

Also stay tuned to the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) for up to the minute broadcasts.

Saltwater - Freshwater Line

The saltwater-freshwater line in Louisiana extends easterly from the Texas state line all the way to the Mississippi state line. The areas north of this saltwater-freshwater line are deemed freshwater. The areas south of the described line, including a number of saltwater lakes and waterways, are legally considered saltwater. Although the actual levels of salt in the water may differ from day to day due to tides and shifts in wind and currents, in most cases, the flora and fauna found on either side of the line differ dramatically. A detailed description of the saltwater-freshwater line can be found below. As with any regulation issue, please contact your local LDWF Enforcement Office with any questions you may have (see Department of Wildlife & Fisheries).

NOTE: Persons fishing and/or possessing saltwater fish in these areas are required to have a saltwater fishing license in addition to the basic fishing license. Persons fishing for and/or possessing freshwater fish in saltwater areas are not required to hold a saltwater license.

Louisiana Saltwater Line Definition

The Intracoastal waterway from the Texas-Louisiana boundary to its junction with Louisiana Highway 27 at Gibbstown, south along Louisiana Highway 82, east to its junction with the Intracoastal Waterway at Forked Island, the Intracoastal Waterway from Forked Island to Bayou Barataria to the Harvey Canal, the Harvey Canal to the Mississippi River, the Mississippi River to the Industrial Canal, the Industrial Canal to the Intracoastal Waterway, the Intracoastal Waterway to the Rigolets in Orleans Parish to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad bridge, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad right-of-way from the Orleans Parish line to the Mississippi state line.

All the areas south of the saltwater line described above, plus the saltwater lakes known as Lake Maurepas, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake St. Catherine, Chef Menteur Pass (except that 7/10 of a mile section from Bayou Sauvage south to the Intracoastal Waterway), the Rigolets, Unknown Pass, Pass Manchac, Intracoastal, and that portion of the Calcasieu Ship Channel from the Intracoastal Waterway south to the Gulf of Mexico, shall be designated as saltwater areas.