Wildlife & Fisheries to kill TAG Louisiana program
By Todd Masson, NOLA.com | November 30, 2016
The recreational fishing community has taken another hit from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and this one's going to leave a mark. Beginning in January, the agency will discontinue most of the popular TAG Louisiana program, a coastwide study that relies on volunteer anglers to tag fish and report recaptures.
Assistant Secretary Patrick Banks, head of the department's Office of Fisheries, said administrators made the decision because the program isn't delivering useful information for agency biologists.
"The tagging program provides no meaningful fisheries management data for the department," he said in response to a list of questions emailed by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.
A One-Day Snapper Season?
It’s time for Charlie Melancon to stand up for Louisiana anglers
Federal fisheries management at the Gulf Council is set to fail Louisiana’s recreational anglers again… and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon is supporting that failure.
At the Gulf Council meeting held the week of October 17 in Biloxi, NOAA Fisheries staff reported that their data indicates recreational fishermen may exceed this year’s snapper quota. Federal managers suggested that state-water seasons are to blame despite the Gulf States’ fisheries management agencies developing data collection programs far superior to the flawed federal process.
ACTION ALERT: Let LDWF Hear Your Voice
Melancon chooses Gulf Council over real progress
Shuns Louisiana Congressmen, WLF Commissioners, other Gulf States and anglers everywhere
At the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on Thursday, a room full of CCA members and concerned anglers heard reports and gave testimony centering around Secretary Charlie Melancon's disappointing opposition to Congressman Garret Graves H.R. 3094, the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Management Authority Act.
For years, conservationists and recreational anglers have been frustrated by the failed federal management system under the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. As a result of Council actions, private individuals now own more than 70% of the Gulf red snapper stock, leaving millions of recreational anglers scrambling for the leftovers. The result in 2016 was a nine-day federal red snapper season.
CCA Louisiana, Partners Build First Phase of West End Reef
CCA Louisiana, along with Chevron, Pontchartrain Materials and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted volunteers and media members to view the installation of the first phase of the West End Reef in New Orleans.
Construction began early Tuesday on the reef, which is comprised of roughly 2,200 tons of recycled limestone and crushed concrete. This first phase of the reef will create fish habitat for the area as part of a plan by Orleans Parish to revitalize West End. Plans call for the boat launch to be refurbished, a large fishing pier to be constructed, and other improvements in an effort to bring families back to the area. The once vibrant gathering place was heavily damaged in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and has been relatively dormant since then.
Commissioners go to bat for frustrated Louisiana Anglers
Unanimous resolution ensures that Louisiana will keep fighting the good fight against flawed federal management
On Thursday, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission unanimously passed a resolution directing the department to continue down the path of state management of red snapper. The resolution, offered by Commissioner Julie Hebert of Luling, was well-timed as earlier in the week the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council projected a 2016 recreational red snapper season of 8 days, the shortest in history.
The resolution states:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission directs the Department to continue supporting the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority (GSRSMA) and to strongly urge Congress to transfer authority over both fisheries management and scientific data collections for the red snapper resource in state and federal waters off of Louisiana to the states in an effort to continue to conserve the red snapper resource, ensure fair and equitable access to the red snapper fishery, and preserve the economy and culture of Louisiana’s coast.
CCA Continues Fight Against Sector Separation
Controversial sector separation ruling goes to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
NEW ORLEANS, LA (3-21-16) – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has announced that it will receive briefs on Coastal Conservation Association’s appeal of the ruling on its Amendment 40 lawsuit on April 27.
Amendment 40 is a controversial plan that created a charter/for-hire sector in the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery and reserved a significant percentage of the recreational quota exclusively for its use. It is widely understood that the new charter/for-hire sector will emulate the privatized commercial red snapper sector in which shares of red snapper are privately owned by individuals for their own use and profit. Earlier this year, a lower court ruled against CCA’s arguments opposing Amendment 40, electing instead to defer to NOAA Fishery’s interpretation of statutory provisions governing the nation’s marine resources.