fishing

Extra Zebra

A leader in Alabama's charter fishing business says new federal limits on red snapper will hurt the state's industry.

The federal government has reduced this year's recreational snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico from 11 days to just nine days, starting June 1.

An arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decided the change was needed because Louisiana opened its state waters year-round in April.

Crabby Taxonomist / flickr.com

They’re called bunker up north, and Pogies here in the South, and are sometimes referred to as “The Most Important Fish In the Sea”. These are the Menhaden.

Since it’s not a fish you eat, you’ve probably never heard of it. But the annual Menhaden Advisory Committee meeting was a big deal this year due to a new Menhaden management plan.

Bart Fields / Flickr

Shrimp and long-line fisheries operating out of the Gulf are among the nation's nine “dirtiest fisheries”, according to a report released today by the ocean conservation group Oceana.

Oceana's “Wasted Catch” report lists fisheries with the largest amount of bycatch, which is fish and wildlife unintentionally caught when attempting to catch other species.

Environmental remediation scientists at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment have found remnants of crude oil in the hearts of pogy that live off Grand Isle.

Pogy, a baitfish more officially called menhaden, make up the second largest commercial catch in the United States. They’re not only resold as baitfish, but they’re also processed into fish oil and fish meal, making their way into vitamins, cosmetics and livestock feeds.

According to federal regulations, Louisiana’s nine-day recreational red snapper fishing season legally starts next weekend. But some fishermen have been landing snapper since the state season started in March — at the risk of also landing a ticket from federal authorities.

The discrepancy between state and federal red snapper authorities is the subject of a bill sponsored by Sen. Bret Allain. Allain wants to put an all-out ban on red snapper, reasoning that if the fisheries are in such dire straits, maybe they shouldn’t be fished at all.

The commercial king mackerel season will open July 1 in Louisiana waters and will close when the 1.18 million-pound quota is met.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the season dates Thursday.

King mackerel is a significant commercial fishery in Louisiana. From 2000 through 2011 Louisiana has landed, on average, about 75 percent of the quota allotted for the western Gulf of Mexico.

That included more than 1 million pounds in 2011. A significant amount of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in the northeastern U.S.

Louisiana anglers and those planning a fishing trip to the state will be able to get information, licenses and a spot to chat online with other fishermen at what state tourism officials call a fishing microsite opening early in January.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne says Louisiana is the world's finest fishing destination, and the state wants to help related businesses.

Louisiana's fall shrimp season is closing in most state inside waters.

Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham said last week that the season would close for most inside waters at sunset Tuesday to let white shrimp grow larger and more valuable.

On Monday, he set closing Dec. 30 in parts of Lake Pelto and Terrebonne and Timbalier bays where the fall inshore season had been briefly extended.

Some catches in Gulf above some pre-spill levels

Sep 20, 2012

Gulf of Mexico fishing boats hauled in far more menhaden last year than in 2010. Catches of some other important species were above pre-spill levels in some Gulf Coast states. But a federal official says it's too early to rule out long-term effects from the spill.

A national report released Wednesday says the Gulf's menhaden catch last year was nearly 66 percent above that in 2010. Other species also showed increases.

Roy Crabtree of NOAA Fisheries says that's guardedly good news. But he says it's probably too soon to tell whether the spill killed eggs and immature fish.

The state fisheries department is hosting a free fishing rodeo to teach people how to catch the Rio Grande cichlid, an invasive species of fish.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is hosting the rodeo on Sept. 29 in City Park in New Orleans.

The cichlid fish out-compete native sport fish for habitat and bedding areas. The fish are from northeast Mexico and southern Texas. They were first reported in Louisiana in 1996 in Lake Pontchartrain and since then have spread throughout the New Orleans area.

Pages