Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at noon on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.
The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the commercial season for king mackerel in federal waters on Wednesday at noon.
The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.01 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met.
Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries. According to the best information available, the 1.01 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico will be harvested by August 22, 2012.
While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports. A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.