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
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.