So, we’re all in this together — and apart.
We miss our friends, and the comradeship outdoors provides.
Let’s get business out of the way:
- There will be no Thursday Advocate Outdoors page for the foreseeable future.
- Here, Sundays, the plan is to keep you apprised of weekly news, including all canceled and postponed events, and asking clubs and event organizers to send along emails with updates.
- Because our governor has pleaded with us to avoid gatherings of 10 or more, we will not publish, in the Outdoors Calendar, any stand-alone event or weekly fishing tournament until the threat of COVID-19 has been eliminated and Gov. John Bel Edwards and the medical folks say we can gather again for these activities.
- Elmer’s Island has been closed apparently to keep tourists away from the Grand isle area.
While extra-good freshwater and coastal fishing reports are streaming in from across south Louisiana — and there’s a need to go fishing — the worry is getting two or three guys from different households together in a vehicle to tow a boat to a fishing destination. Yeah, you can keep this social distancing in a boat, but not a vehicle.
Maybe the solution is to drive in separate vehicles to the launch before heading out.
And, if you’re planning to fish alone, please file a float plan with a loved one to let them know where you’re launching, where you plan to fish, a description of your boat and vehicle and the time you plan to be home. And take along soap and hand sanitizer.
As the result of an extant state law, Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Jack Montoucet had to sign an emergency declaration to delay the opening of the recreational red snapper season.
A few years ago when Louisiana was battling with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and federal fisheries managers over recreational red snapper seasons, out state Legislature enacted a law mandating this season open the Saturday before Palm Sunday. This year that’s April 4.
Now, with Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting canceled — and after the LWFC discussed the season opener for the Friday (May 22) of Memorial Day weekend — Montoucet had to make a move to allow the public and the LWFC to firm up an opening day.
Now, with state management in place, maybe our state legislators should consider removing this statute.
Canceling Thursday’s LWFC meeting also means a delay in any news coming after the series of statewide public meetings on possible moves to implement new daily creel and/or minimum size limits.
If, by May — and only if there’s a May meeting — the state’s Marine Fisheries Section can offer the meetings’ findings. That will signal another round of discussion, a notice of intent to change rules, a waiting period, and, if passed, posting a new regulation to the State Register. At the earliest, it means any new speckled trout regulations likely will not be in force until October, but Nov. 1 or Dec. 1 would be more likely targets.
And, while we’re waiting for this shoe to drop, and it will, maybe you can practice what you preached at the meetings.
If you want to keep the 25 daily limit and go to a 14-inch minimum length, then do that.
If you want to keep the 12-inch minimum and reduce the daily take to 12 or 15, then do that.
A friend at Hatherleigh Press sent a copy of their latest book, “The Angler’s Book of Favorite Fishing Quotations,” ($12.50 through Penguin Random House).
Going to save a personal favorite for next week, but one from this book sort of fits our predicament — from Page 87: “The solution to any problem — work, love, money, whatever — is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.” John Gierach.