Friday, October 06, 2023

Big day for fisheries conservation in Louisiana

At yesterday's monthly meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission acted on two items of significant interest to saltwater anglers.

1) Passed on NOI establishing a coastwide one-mile buffer zone for commercial harvesting of menhaden. The vote was by the narrowest of margins, 4-3, and must get a final approval based on economic considerations. But it's the first time we've gotten this far in establishing a one-mile buffer.

2) The Commission gave final approval to an NOI setting new redfish limits of 3 fish per day, 18-24 inch slot with no overslot. Now it goes to the Legislative Natural Resources Oversight Committee for final approval before it becomes law.

Many thanks to everyone involved who sent in comments, signed petitions, or showed up in person to comment.

The menhaden industry will fight hard to make sure the one-mile restriction doesn't become rule. In their comments, they suggested that limiting their access to pogies just off the beach would be a crushing blow to jobs and the coastal economy. While today's LWFC approval marks a step closer to success, this battle is far from over.