It's a rare instance when a sitting governor attends a Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission regular monthly meeting, but it’s scheduled to happen on the first Thursday in November.
Item 4 on the LWFC’s posted agenda for the 9:30 a.m. meeting is “Governor’s Address to the Commission — Governor John Bel Edwards.” As usual, the meeting is set for the first-floor Louisiana Room inside state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
While not stated, Edwards will presumably take issue with the commission’s no action on extending the recreational red snapper season in state waters, even though state fisheries managers had data showing recreational anglers were short by more than 100,000 pounds of the state-imposed 1.04 million-pound quota on the species.
Because other states have not reported their take after a three-day federal season was followed by a 39-day, 2017-only season in state and federal waters, the commission’s no-vote was seen as a hedge against any take from the other four Gulf states that could result in taking more than the allowed Gulf-wide 2017 recreational quota.
If data shows recreational anglers caught more than the quota across the Gulf of Mexico, the overage will be deducted from the 2018 allowable recreational catch.
Other agenda items include announcing the 2018-2019 Louisiana Duck Stamp contest winner, and an update from October’s Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting held in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Boating fatalities always are bad news, and this time the Wildlife and Fisheries’ report hits close to home.
Last Thursday, 44-year-old Haskin Payne of Zachary was fishing with his wife from their 24-foot boat in Bayou Bienvenue in St. Bernard Parish.
The report stated Payne slipped and fell overboard in the late afternoon, and that his wife jumped in to help, but couldn’t get him back in the boat.
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Marine Division officers were first on the scene, found Payne’s wife in the boat, then transported her to a New Orleans hospital for hypothermia treatment.
Payne’s body was recovered near 6 p.m.
And, Oct. 26, a Wednesday, 86-year-old Houma man Charles Evans was killed in a two-vessel collision in Bayou Labout near Dulac.