Many people can barely remember the last time they had a dish of blackened redfish and knew their entrÃ©e came from Louisiana waters. The commercial harvest of the famous fish was outlawed in the '90s during a debate over banning gill nets; speckled trout survived the ban, although fishermen chasing the tricky spotted fish were restricted to using only rod and reel, rather than nets. That could soon be a thing of the past.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee will soon hear legislation by Woodworth Democratic Sen. Joe McPherson that would restrict specks to only recreational fishing. If the bill passes as is, Louisiana speckled trout would be removed from restaurant menus, market freezers and other retail outlets. The coming debate will be emotional as commercial fishermen, still reeling from last year's hurricane season, try to save one of their remaining economic channels. ' Jeremy Alford
OYSTER FISHERMEN NEED FEDERAL CASH TO REBUILD
Elsewhere in the Gulf seafood industry, the Louisiana Oyster Task Force is trying to implement a plan with federal money that could resuscitate its industry. Prior to last year's season, Louisiana harvested almost 40 percent of the nation's oysters, but the 2005 hurricanes destroyed 400 million pounds more than the annual average output. Furthermore, the storms damaged boats, docks and other infrastructure and displaced hundreds of workers.
"The Louisiana Oyster Recovery Plan" is broken down into five sections: vessels and locks, harvest areas, unloading facilities, processing plants and market development. A cornerstone of the plan is the removal of debris from oyster beds. Oysters suffocated after the storms buried them in silt and mud, and they won't be able to return to their habitat until the debris is removed. "We're currently trying to secure the money to implement this plan," says Mike Voisin, chairman of the government agency. "Funds are earmarked for it in a Senate bill, and we're going to Washington to drum up support." ' JA
THE ONE THAT LOOKS LIKE A BOOT
A poll conducted by National Geographic magazine recently revealed that one-third of respondents couldn't find Louisiana on a map ' you know, Louisiana, the state that has received international press attention since last fall. Nearly half of the 510 individuals polled couldn't find Mississippi, either. The survey helped launch a multimedia campaign called "My Wonderful World" that will target children 8 to 17 and encourage parents and educators to spend more time on geography. ' JA
SPEAKING OF GEOGRAPHY LESSONS ...
The Daily Advertiser had another one of its memorable front-page blunders last week. In its lead story Friday on hurricane planning for 2006, The Advertiser wrote, "Katrina made landfall around the Texas-Louisiana state line." ' Scott Jordan
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.
Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit?
Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been decided: Superintendents of Louisiana’s public school system will retain the controversial powers granted by Act 1 of the 2012 session.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has a bone to pick with the Jindal administration, which recently — surprise! — announced that the state ended the most recent budget year with a $178.5 million dollar surplus.
The messaging battle, however, isn't tied to individual campaign accounts. Third-party groups have poured millions of dollars into advertising.