Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Make plans for Red Stick Day March 5th

27th annual Red Stick Day fly fishing festival
Saturday, March 5, 2022

8:30am to 2:30pm
LDWF Waddill Outdoor Education Center
4141 North Flannery Rd, Baton Rouge, LA

Hosted by the Red Stick Fly Fishers, Red Stick Day is the longest-running fly fishing festival (aka, club conclave) in our state. There's seminars, fly tying demonstrations, casting instruction, loads of raffle items, and more.  And best of all, admission is free!

The event will again be held at the LDWF Waddill Outdoors Education Center off North Flannery Road.  The ponds on the premises are full of big bass and bluegill.  In addition, Masseys Outfitters will be on hand with a variety of kayaks from Hobie, Native and other brands for folks to test paddle/pedal.

The programs range from kayak fishing the marsh, bass on the fly, fly fishing southwest Louisiana, and details about a nationwide mixed bag fly fishing contest.  Roughly a dozen of the region's top fly tiers will also be on hand to demonstrate their various flies, along with their favorite legacy patterns. There will also be casting instruction from regional FFI Certified Casting Instructors.

There's also a giant raffle and silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind items, all to benefit the club's educational projects.

Details about the event, including speaker and tier bios, schedule of activities, and more can be found by going to www.rsff.org and clicking on "Red Stick Day" in the menu.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Conservationists asked to comment on Menhaden

In January, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission sought to establish a regulation to create a 1/4 mile menhaden (pogey) harvest buffer zone. This means that no industrialized harvest would take place closer than 1/4 mile from the defined shoreline of Louisiana.  Since an amendment was added to the original Notice of Intent - the amendment would exclude Breton Sound from the buffer - the NOI had to be reintroduced for public comment before a final vote can be taken.

CCA Louisiana, the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the FFI Gulf Coast Council, and other conservation partners are vehemently opposed to the 1/4 mile buffer because it is woefully inadequate. NO OTHER STATE allows menhaden harvest less than one mile from shore, and most states don't even allow it within state waters. 

Most inshore species spawn within the littoral zone, there are greater concentrations of menhaden within this zone, and these fish (reds, specks, mackerel, etc) depend on these higher concentrations of pogies for nutrition.  Equally of concern.. there have been several documented large fish kills of spawning redfish and trout as the result of pogey harvesting bycatch within several hundred yards of beaches and passes.

The conservation groups are asking the Commission to reject the current Notice of Intent, and instead implement a statewide buffer - including Breton Sound - of at least 1/2 mile. While a one-mile buffer would be much better, the 1/2-mile buffer was the original compromise before some supporters of the menhaden industry backed away.

On Tuesday, February 22, at 5:30 pm, there will be a public meeting at the Joe Herring Louisiana Room of the LDWF Headquarters at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Attendees can express their concerns at the meeting.

If you cannot attend in person, then please send your public comments asap to comments@wlf.la.gov.  These comments need to be received by February 22nd.

CCA is also asking their members and other conservationists to copy their local legislators.  You can find them using this link: Legislators - Louisiana State Legislature.