Three men

Fathers' legacy

It's Father's Day, and for the Pittmans it probably started with a day on the water. What else could it be for three generations of competitive bass fishermen, from left, Floyd, Jason and Trenton. Floyd began his bass tournament adventures way back in the 1970s. Jason, and now Trenton, both KYSEK-sponsored anglers, are competing on national and local circuits. 'I feel blessed to be in the middle, still getting to enjoy fishing and hunting with my dad and having Trenton able to come along as a young adult,' Jason Pittman said. 'It's very special, and I never take a moment of it for granted.'

Don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but a wet spring — and it’s been extraordinarily wet — is good for strawberries and crawfish, but bad for shrimp and crabs. It’s been that way for years.

Our “wet” this year is Mother Nature’s evil mix of rain and floodwaters, and the threat from our major rivers will be with us for the foreseeable future.

OK, so everybody who pays attention know the Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway for a record number of days to relieve pressure on levees at New Orleans. It begs the question about Capital City area levees, the Old River Control Structure and delayed (if ever) Morganza Spillway opening.

The Bonnet Carre’s record run prompted state Wildlife and Fisheries biologists to check out the effects of diverted floodwaters into the Pontchartrain Basin.

The LDWF’s “preliminary” finding included:

  • Through June 6, oysters landed from public water-bottoms declined 80 percent from the year-to-date average, and are 89 percent below the March-April average;
  • Comparing catches to the past five years, statewide brown and white shrimp landings were down 36 percent in March and 63 percent during April, and statewide blue crab landings were down by 33 percent in March, and 45 percent in April;
  • Recreational redfish and speckled trout “are also reduced compared to other recent years, as monitored by LA Creel,” and there’s a noticeable decline in black drum landings in the Vermilion-Tech and Calcasieu basins.

Worse still is the effect the floodwaters have in the near-coast waters. Past major floods predicted there would impact sea turtles and marine mammals, and there has been an increase in reported strandings of these animals.

The complete report is available on the LDWF website: wlf.louisiana.gov/floodinfo.

Stephensville

Larry Doiron has reopened the landings near the store in Stephensville, including the “car wash” landing. While that’s good news, there’s the reminder about continued no-wake zones throughout Verret Basin waters.

Violations

As suspected, there are folks around who will take advantage of the flooding, and state wildlife agents nabbed 27-year-old Chaz Guillory of Port Barre for allegedly taking two deer in St. Landry Parish at the end of May.

Guillory was cited on two counts of taking deer during a closed season, two counts of taking deer during illegal hours and two counts of violating outlaw quadruped night regulations.

A tip to state agents led them to Guillory, who was reported to have taken a doe near 10 p.m. May 30 near Lebeau, and later found out he killed an antlered deer on the night of May 28.

Guillory faces fines up to $4,800 and up to 210 days in jail along with the a civil restitution fine of $3,249 for the replacement value of the illegally taken deer.

Remember dads

Risking social commentary, Father’s Day appears to be falling somewhere below National Pizza Lovers’ Day.

Read the other day that 52 percent of our country’s kids are growing up without a father in their homes, and for us who had a father and a dad, this news is a cause for deep concern.

Kids need men, all kids, and it’s all the more reason for those among us who’ve had that guidance mixed with doses of moral and ethical lessons to celebrate Father’s Day all the more.

At the same time, it should give us pause to pray for the kids who won’t have a dad to celebrate this day, a someone who could teach them the joys of catching a fish, or sit in a blind or a stand on a wonderful fall or winter morning.

Time to mourn

It was a privilege to call Warren Davis a friend. He was a friend to many who worked to make St. Thomas More Parish a better place. He smiled a lot, enjoyed a laugh more than most. Warren, 52, died Friday — suddenly.

Condolences to his wife, Gina, and daughter, Hanna, and his family.

Warren Davis will be missed — mightily missed.

Pssst, St. Peter, Warren can grill a darned good steak.