About once each month the good, the bad and the ugly creep into our outdoors.
The good came last weekend when sportsmen across Louisiana donated a little more than 24,000 pounds to Hunters for the Hungry’s Clean Out Your Freezer campaign.
“We are in awe of the generosity of our hunters and fishermen who donated much-needed protein for the needy of Louisiana,” said H4H director Julie Grunewald. “And, it's not too late to contribute.”
If you still wish to donate, email: email@example.com.
Kids do it again
Somehow the adult organizers for the Denham Springs-based Junior Southwest Bassmasters have their fingers on the pulse of bass fishing in south Louisiana.
After recent successful one-day tournaments in the Atchafalaya and Verret basins, Henderson Lake was last weekend’s site, and the youngsters caught a bunch of largemouths.
Hunter Robertson’s five-bass catch in the 11-14 age group led the way at 10.06 pounds, and Anthony Tapia Jr., fishing in the 7-10 age group, had the heaviest bass, a 3.01-pounder.
Henderson is currently in drawdown, and club leader Jim Breaux reported 21 five-bass limits among the 44 young anglers, and that spinnerbaits, Chug Bugs, frogs, crankbaits, worms and creature baits produced most of the 153 bass weighed.
Call Breaux at (225) 772-3026 to get your young angler involved.
The final “good” piece is that it appears LA Creel got Louisiana offshore fishermen to within 1% of this year’s 784,332 pound state allotment for red snapper.
Louisiana went into the four-day Labor Day weekend season with a LA Creel total of 740,268 pounds, and that four-day effort was less than 40,000 pounds.
The final numbers will be revealed at Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting in Baton Rouge.
COVID-19 forced cancellation of Louisiana’s Hunting & Fishing Day festivities this weekend as part of the nationwide celebration of outdoors activated hundreds of thousands of Louisianans hold near and dear.
We’ve had more than 40 of these special days in the Baton Rouge area, hours when youngsters fished, shot arrows and BB guns, took aim on skeet, paddled canoes and learned about our environs and what lives in them.
Jenni Henry at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership took time to remind how all this started and what hunting and fishing mean to our country.
NHFD became a law in our land on the signature of President Richard Nixon in 1972 to be celebrated on the fourth Saturday in September. Years later Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri, became NHFD’s official national home.
There's more: Although hunters numbers are down by 2 million since the last years of the Obama administration, moves to open public grounds by the current administration are expected to boost those numbers in the coming years.
Sportsmen’s numbers jumped this year with most states in the Lower 48 reporting dramatic increases in fishing licenses sales because of the pandemic.
Finally, it’s with those licenses sales and taxes on virtually all hunting and fishing equipment the United States' 50 million outdoorsmen provide that finances our country’s conservation and enhancement projects in addition to the millions of jobs these activities support.
Too bad we didn’t get to enjoy that one day this year.
Not that any Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting brings surprising news, but there will be some angry saltwater fishermen across our state after a notice of intent on changing speckled trout catch regulations during Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. meeting. Things could get ugly here.
It’s been more than a year since Wildlife and Fisheries marine biologists identified an “overfished” problem in their speckled trout data.
State biologists have outline fishermen’s preferences (through public meetings and surveys) during recent LWFC meetings and it’s likely the daily creel will be reduced from 25 to 15 or, possibly, a lower number with an increase in minimum size limits at 13 or 14 inches.
COVID-19 restrictions limit the number of people (40) allowed in the Joe Herring Room at LDWF headquarters on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
If you want a meeting look-see, then Zoom will have a live audio/video stream of the meetings: wlf-la.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_w4B3i6aFQ4CEDDovsQ3xYA.
The full agenda is listed on the LDWF website: wlf.louisiana.gov.
Public comment on agenda items will be accepted via email through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday at: Comments@wlf.la.gov.
Federal marine biologists and administrators don’t seem to want to acknowledge the data-collection efforts of Texas, Mississippi and Alabama when it comes to recreational red snapper catches.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Division used the outmoded and most times inaccurate Marine Recreational Information Program data collection system to determine catch, and is insisting this MRIP data is showing those states have taken more their their allotted quotas.
There will be more on this in the coming weeks after this surprising revelation came out late last week, and its certain there will be push-back from these states, if not all five Gulf states.
Currently, Louisiana (through LA Creel) and Florida have the only federally “approved” data-collection systems.