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
Struggling to preserve their Senate majority, Democrats are attacking Republicans over Medicare and Social Security in Louisiana, spending cuts in Arkansas, off-shore jobs in New Hampshire and women's issues in Colorado.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week, adding even more fuel to a fire that started burning with the suspicious March 2 death of Victor White III in the back of a deputy’s patrol car and the federal investigation that has since ensued.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
"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.