Saltwater Fishing License Increase Offers Host of Benefits to Louisiana Recreational Anglers
July 16, 2014 - For the first time in 14 years, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will increase its license fees for recreational, saltwater fishing from $15.00 to $22.50 on August 1. The increase places Louisiana firmly in the middle of saltwater license fees among Gulf States. The Department expects to generate an additional $2.25 million annually, which will be used to fund the agency’s LA Creel program.
LDWF recognized the shortcomings of the federally established Marine Recreational Information Program to provide the best available data to fisheries managers and began collecting their own recreational statistics through a new data collection program called LA Creel.
Since federal officials do not recognize LA Creel as MRIP compatible, over half a million dollars typically used to fund recreational surveying in Louisiana was pulled, leaving the Department responsible for the financial burden of data collection. The Department recognized that it was unable to adequately fund a high quality, precise recreational survey for the long term and sought angler support to fund the survey through a license fee increase.
A Brave New World
Posted on July 14, 2014 - by CCA National
Imagine a Gulf coast where recreational anglers suddenly saw a catch share initiative created for a few coastal fishing guides. Certain (not all) guides would be able to have a determined portion of a fishery and could sell opportunities to go fish for red drum…even if the fishery had been closed to the general private recreational angler. It is hard to think that recreational anglers who fought so hard to restore redfish stocks from the perils of gillnets, purse seines and the blackened redfish craze would now have a significant portion of the fishery given away to a handful of guides. Sound far-fetched?
The Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery is already in this brave new world of fisheries management. It is a fishery that could be almost completely privatized as soon as the end of this year and be held from that point forward by commercial fishing and private charter businesses using this public resource for profit. It is very likely, as soon as next season, private boat owners will not be allowed to venture into federal waters to catch a red snapper and bring it home.
You will be allowed to hire a for-hire operator that owns red snapper quota, pay them to take you fishing and buy one of their fish. You will be allowed to buy a filet in the grocery store for $20-plus a pound. But you won’t be allowed to enjoy a strongly rebuilt stock.
Vitter: Reid, Democrats to Block Out Red Snapper Amendments to Sportsmen’s Bill
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) decision to omit Republican amendments when he filed cloture on the bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act earlier today. Vitter had filed amendments to the Sportsmen’s bill to give states more authority of red snapper stocks.
“Senator Reid and his cohorts have once again chosen to politicize a popular, bipartisan bill, and in doing so, are obstructing a prime opportunity to better protect and enhance fish and wildlife, wetlands, and recreational hunting access across the country,” said Vitter. “We in Louisiana are very familiar with the need to conserve our natural resources while also protecting public access to them, and I am deeply disappointed that my two amendments – which would do just that – will not be considered.”
Vitter had introduced two amendments to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act in order to bring transparency to the closed meetings of the Regional Fishery Management Councils, and also grant States management authority of the red snapper fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Click here to read more.
Recently, Vitter wrote an op-ed in the Houma Courier entitled, "Protecting Red Snapper Fishing." He has also been conducting attentive oversight of the Gulf of Mexico RFMC and their ongoing efforts to update the decades-old allocations for the red snapper fisheries. Click here to read more.
Gulf states fight back as feds seek to reel in recreational fishing season
By Maxim Lott • Published July 08, 2014 • FoxNews.com
Gulf Coast charter captains say the feds are ruining their businesses by needlessly cutting their fishing season in response to complaints from commercial fishermen, and now their state lawmakers are stepping up to tackle the issue.
This year's federal fishing season for red snapper was initially set at 40 days long, but then regulators slashed it to just 9 days. Recreational fishing captains say the federal policy is destroying their business for the year and has forced them to cancel hundreds of already-scheduled trips with customers who want to fish.
"I already had the boats sold out for the season and then I had to cancel those trips because I couldn't provide the service," Capt. Mark Hubbard, a recreational fishing captain out of Madeira Beach, Fla., told FoxNews.com.
Vitter: Red Snapper Decision Delay Shows Gulf Council May be Trying to Pick Winners, Losers
Concerned that current members aren’t supplying the leadership necessary to represent all stakeholders, highlighting why states have no confidence
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding yesterday’s decision by the Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Council (RFMC) to postpone consideration of Amendment 28, which would update the red snapper allocations for the first time in over 20 years.
“By delaying consideration of Amendment 28 – yet again - the Gulf Council has shown they’re not appropriately representing all stakeholders – particularly recreational fishermen. This has become abundantly clear now that Mississippi and Alabama have joined Louisiana, Texas, and Florida in non-compliance by extending the length of each state’s red snapper season,” said Vitter. “All five Gulf states have clearly lost confidence in the RFMC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There is an apparent need for more transparency, and it is time to get to the bottom of who is really influencing decisions and how.”
Pickets Plan Comes Together
Private/public effort launches artificial reefing project to save famed Louisiana trout hotspot
A $1.2 million plan to preserve habitat in the area known as the Pickets, often referred to as hallowed ground in Louisiana trout fishing circles, was unveiled this week by officials of Apache Corporation, Fieldwood Energy LLC, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), and the State of Louisiana, in coordination with the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). As soon as the energy structures and pilings are removed per federal requirements from Ship Shoal 26 sometime in July, this cooperative effort at the local level is set to deploy 15,000 tons of concrete rip-rap in three artificial reefs to maintain the summer-time hotspot for speckled trout and the anglers who pursue them out of Cocodrie and Dularge.
“There are many trout fishermen in this state who have fond memories of the Pickets,” said David Cresson, executive director of CCA Louisiana. “It is unfortunate that we have to say goodbye to those structures, but we are grateful to have partners here who were committed to doing everything they could to maintain the area for future generations. The Pickets have been a special place, and this partnership is working to make sure it stays that way.”
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- Saltwater Fishing License Increase Offers Host of Benefits to Louisiana Recreational Anglers
- A Brave New World
- Vitter: Reid, Democrats to Block Out Red Snapper Amendments to Sportsmen’s Bill
- Vitter Amendments to Grant States Control Over Red Snapper Fisheries
- Gulf states fight back as feds seek to reel in recreational fishing season