Comments from crabbers who, when asked, “In which of the following areas do you do MOST of your fishing activity?” answered,
Inland Waters (Freshwater)
WE IN TROUBLE.
Spend the money on suction dredges and get immediate results, instead of ending my fishing career and the fishing careers of future fisherman. A suction dredge sediment pipeline from the Mississippi River into the marsh accompanied by a much smaller diversion would be perhaps a better way to get results. A diversion spilling 75,000 cubic feet per second will undoubtedly put hundreds of commercial fishermen out of business.
Note made next to question 5: "Dredge Not Divert." Response to question 7: "Mardi Gras Pass is flowing; put it [diversion] there. Black Bay is DEAD! (followed by personal signature)
Note made by question 1 (Commercial Fisher): "Shrimp, Crab, Fish". Note made by question 4 (Over the last 5-10 years): "Much worse since CPRA took control of diversions". Response to question 7: They will not be able to adjust without having a real voice and vote on coastal restoration projects and regulations.
Inland waters I fish are not freshwater.
Dredge Don't Divert
Coastal changes are not the problem Taking species of seafood away from us is. We are starving to death, and no one really cares.
A buy out program. No Diversions. Sustainable price for [meeting] industry standards.
I think it has changed in Lake Pontchartrain ever since the Mr. GO has been blocked off and brackish water can’t come in the lake and mix with the freshwater anymore, [allowing] everything to reproduce like it used to before it was blocked off. That’s how the lake could get the salt life it needed, and for everything living in the lake to grow faster and be healthier.
Abolish crab task force!
Dredging not diversion. Build islands to reduce erosion caused by wave action. [Make it mandatory for] oil companies to backfill all canals. New and old!
I fear the industry is dying and cannot be fixed. You can adapt and make a few dollars, but there is no way a young man with a family can depend on shrimping and crabbing as his sole livelihood.
Stop freshwater diversions - dredge instead! Open MRGO. Stop continuous opening of Bonnet Carre Spillway. 2016, 2018, 2019. Why not Morganza?? When u have a closure for trap clean-up, hire some crabbers with boats that can go out there and pick up 100 or more traps at a time and get it done quick so the closure doesn’t last as long and everyone can get back to fishing. Don’t schedule a clean-up on the same year the spillway opens - we already lose enough time during opening of spillway. Thanks (signed by participant).
I've enjoyed commercial fishing, but the reality is we need to focus more on building the coastal barriers at this point than on oysters, shrimp or crabs in inland waters. I've lived in Louisiana all my 61 years and to be honest, when you get up in a plane and see water almost to the Mississippi River levee it gives me a very uneasy feeling. just my thoughts. Thanks (signed by participant)
Open Morganza Spillway next time and give Lake Pontchartrain a break! Open season on redfish. Open MRGO.
Can NOT have any more fresh water in Lake Pontchartrain. Open Morganza spill way next time. Open MRGO. Open season on Red Fish.
As this is only my 3rd year to commercial fish, I have very limited knowledge that I feel would be beneficial. However as 100% of my income depends on commercial fishing I believe that the whole industry needs to manage the resources [so they are] protected, develop strategies to sustain a relevant future, and develop the most efficient and effective harvesting practices, efficient and reliable distribution, and informative marketing practices to bring our products to the world’s marketplace. As no man or woman or group is (illegible), and we realize that we must all do our part, we will overcome any obstacles and be a relevant economic force not only in Louisiana but the world also.
Shrimp imports have domestic prices very low compared to inflation for equipment, fuel, motors, nets, traps etc. With so much fresh water from the spillway, MRGO [closure], rocks etc., no known shrimp in past 4 years. With freshwater diversions it will sink the crab, shrimp and oyster industry.
Promote the sales of wild catfish, garfish, redfish.
Coastal change will happen no matter what the state does. (Dredging or Diversions). The problem is the pollution in the Mississippi River. It kills everything in the water and marsh. Instead of putting more regulations on the fisherman, more regulations should be put on chemicals people use in farming and household products. That’s what is killing the marsh and coastal property. Mississippi River diversions do build land, but it takes 100s of year to benefit from it. Polluted fresh water is killing the commercial fishing. Dredge please, don’t divert.
Too much freshwater diversion into Lake Pontchartrain from spillway, and broken levees put freshwater into marsh and push crabs away.
Dredge Don’t Divert
We can’t stop mother nature, but we can stop people who don’t care about our resources and make better traps out of coated stainless wire that would last for years.
Note made above question #8: "Depends on the amount of quality crabs in Mar."
Test all foreign seafood that enters the United States.
Install a gate or locks on MRGO to allow sea water to flow into Lake Pontchartrain in order to keep salinity levels sustainable. [This will allow] seafood to continue using the lake as an estuary like it has been for 100s of years. Remove rock from MRGO by Hopedale and Bayou LaLoutre. We need water circulation in the lake to sustain the proper balance of salinity for fish to live; [there is] too much fresh water and runoff in the lake.
I think that one thing that needs to be done is to put a limit on the amount of traps a person is allowed to have. I know of at least 10 people who have 2000 traps in use. Other states have limits, why can't we? (Signed by participants).
When I started crabbing in the mid 80s a big crabber fished 500 traps. Most fished 150 to 200 traps. I fished 200 in Lake Pontchartrain and always caught crabs. But there were dredge boats dredging clams and most crabbers fished [using] gillnets which kept the fish whose main diet is crabs at bay. The biggest thing is the amount of traps in the water. It wasn’t about 50 years ago when the first crab traps were being used in Pontchartrain. When I fished 200 traps I would catch 3 to 4 18 quart ice chests of red line during April-March time frame and the same in October. Now I don’t think I am going to turn my [shedding] tank on; not worth it.