If you haven't been following the situation with Louisiana's redfish it is another example of how fisheries managers are slow to recognize and regularly marginalize the significant economic contribution from recreational fishing. Stop me if you have heard this story before...
The Louisiana guide community has stepped up to demand a stop to the madness. It's obviously more complicated but the short story is that fisheries managers had a plan to restore Louisiana's world class redfish fishery to by 2050!! That's 27 years!!! I'm outraged just typing that!
The redfish guides of Louisiana reached out to Tony Friedrich, Policy Director at the American Saltwater Guides Association and others to ask for help. It's extremely gratifying to see the guides come together, and do things that they haven't been done before (like testify) and create the opportunity for a remarkable outcome. It all comes down to next Tuesday November 7th in Baton Rouge. With public support the timeline to redfish recovery could become 2031. Nineteen years faster that originally proposed! A little more short term pain would be required for long term sustainable gains.
Saltwater Edge strongly supports any efforts that recognize the economic contributions for recreational fisheries and manage fisheries as sustainable resources to be enjoyed by all stakeholders.
To that end we sent to following comment letter to Louisiana Fish and Wildlife today and we encourage you to do the same.
Letters are due by close of business on Monday November 6th. If you are so inclined please send a letter of your own. ASGA has all the information you need to get up to speed.
- Based on a recent survey, the average angler visiting Louisiana to catch and release large redfish has $1075 in expenditures per angling day.
- Guides booked for 200 trips a year contribute almost half a million dollars in expenditures to the Louisiana economy.
- This proposal tightens the slot by a few inches. In return, we recover the adult redfish population almost 20 years sooner.
- In 1999, the state had over 23 million redfish. In 2021, the last year of assessment data, the entire population was down to just over 8 million fish. There are most likely far fewer in 2023
- Louisiana is the number one destination in the world for redfish. These dollars will leave the state if you don’t conserve this fishery.
It boils down to making a tough choice now, that will create afuture that will be bright for all.