Comments from crabbers who, when asked, “In which of the following areas do you do MOST of your fishing activity?” answered,
State needs to adapt to us a bit.
Note made next to question 4 (over the last 5-10 years): "Much worse because of freshwater diversion." Response to question 7: "Fresh water will put us out of business."
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.
Adjusting to changes that are occurring naturally isn’t that hard. Adjusting to these changes will be drastic and detrimental to our way of life. I can’t pick up my oyster leases and move them somewhere else. Shrimping and crabbing may be a little less affected but dumping all that freshwater in our estuary will destroy them too!
Dredging not diversion. Build islands to reduce erosion caused by wave action. [Make it mandatory that] oil companies backfill all canals. New and old!
Not certain at this time.
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.
There is no question 35.
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 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 spillway 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, informative marketing practices to bring our products to the world’s marketplace. As no man or woman or group is and (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 spillway [openings], MRGO [closures], 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 the 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 100's of year to benefit from it. Polluted fresh water is killing the commercial fishing. Dredge please, don’t divert.
Too many freshwater diversions into Lake Pontchartrain from spillway, and broken levees put freshwater into the 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. 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 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.
The public water access is a problem. To many areas are closed that are public but roped off/posted as private. The law needs to be changed to if its tidally influenced, it’s public.
Dredge, do not divert polluted Mississippi River water into our estuaries.... as of 5-6-19 we’ve counted 17 dead dolphins because of the nasty water. Please pass this along, it needs to be covered on the news.