Comments from crabbers who, when asked, “In which of the following areas do you do MOST of your fishing activity?” answered,
Breton Sound/South Pass & eastward
State needs to adapt to us a bit.
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 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 next to Question 4: "Worse with diversion."
Next to Question #4, the participant added the answer "disaster" next to the "Over the next 5-10 years" and "Beyond 10 years in the future" portions of the question. The participant added the answer "Don't be so stupid" for Question #6 next to the "Increase fishing for finfish," "Work more in some field other than commercial fishing," and "Stop commercial fishing altogether" portions of the question.
Inland waters I fish are not freshwater.
Fresh water will kill eastern St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish. Pump sediment via pipeline.
Coastal changes are not the problem. Taking species of seafood away from us [is]. We are starving to death; no one really cares.
Adjusting to changes that are occurring naturally isn't that hard. Adjusting to these [diversion] 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 fresh water in our estuary will destroy them too!
A buy out program. No Diversions. Sustainable price for [meeting] industry standards.
Stop adding polluted water from Mississippi River.
I strongly oppose any diversion! If the Mid-Breton Diversion is put in it will completely ruin the crab fishery and every other fishery in Delacroix, La. which is where I make a living and provide for my family! I think the mud should be pumped in and get instant results. Leave the polluted/toxic Mississippi River water in the river and not in our estuaries (signed by participant).
Eliminate freshwater intrusion. Close holes in the levees where broken. Build land by rebuilding islands offshore and inshore. Dredge Not Divert.
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 100s of years to benefit from it. Polluted fresh water is killing the commercial fishing. Dredge please, don't divert.
Derelict crab traps: Commercial crabbers could address this on a daily basis. However, if we have a trap on the boat without our own tag and get checked by a wildlife agent, we get a ticket. I know that theft is a huge problem, but somehow if there could be a process created for a commercial crabber to be able to remove derelict crab traps without getting a ticket, more derelict crab traps could be removed all year round. I have been crabbing for close to 50 years now. I have also been a fireman for the last 31 years as well. You just never know what kind of a year you will have in the crabbing business, I have had good years, not so good years, and some really bad years. The biggest change in the commercial fishing industries has been expenses. The cost of fuel, traps, bait, engines, boats, has increased so much that it is getting more and more difficult to stay in the business. I know that the only reason that I do still crab is the fact that I do have another job to rely on during the bad times.
Not only have the expenses gone up, but the quality of the materials (illegible) in making crab traps has gotten worse. Traps do not last nearly as long as they used to and cost way more. There are many people that I know, including myself, young and old, that don't know how much longer that they will stay in the commercial fishing business due to the increasing expenses, the lack of a good price for their catch, and just not being able to survive in the industry any longer. Guys I know have moved on to being charter boat captains to make a living. The business just isn't what it used to be, and I fear for its survival.
Dredge Don't Divert
We need outlets for garfish and catfish down in St. Bernard Parish. (Signed by participant)
The coastal changes aren't our problem as much as these freshwater diversions are. These diversions will destroy our wildlife and marshes faster than any erosion could. If they double the size of the Caernarvon diversion and open it full blast like they plan on, Delacroix Island and all of its surrounding marshes would be under water. There would be no more wildlife. Our marine life is good at adapting to coastal erosion, but it cannot withstand toxic freshwater intrusion on this scale. If this state really wanted to, they could put our coastline back to what it was 70 years ago. They could wall off a small section at a time and pump, dredge and fill it in and move to the next section and so on. Just look at what they did in Dubai. They build land into the ocean in the shape of a palm tree and the atlas. And I'm talking about hundreds of acres of land with hotel resorts on them. This state doesn't care about erosion or fisherman. The only thing our politicians care about is how much money they can steal from these so-called projects.
Oyster leases create a monopoly. The public grounds are a joke. The fishermen with leases get rich and nobody else can even work. They take oysters from the public and put them on their lease. Thank you. (Signed by participant). P.S. Nobody removes derelict crab traps during closures. A bounty on derelict traps might help.
Install a gate or locks on MRGO to allow sea water to flow into Lake Pontchartrain in order to keep salinity levels sustainable for 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.
Sorry about this page—pet goat got to it. Since freshwater diversions have been put in, I've lost trapping land and every year my catches go down not only from fresh water but just too many fishermen in the water, too many crabbers and traps. Since BP oil spill everyone owns shrimp boats, crab boats, and more charter fishermen than you can poke a stick at. Prices for shrimp at the dock suck; got more money for my shrimp 30 years ago; [in] fresh water can't even work many places because of grass. If you can work, got to watch out for crab pots. Think they need limit on traps, no more licenses for any crabber, and we need better prices for shrimp. More shrimp factories. If these diversions are open, we're finished, don't matter what you do. It's a shame that the commercial fishermen are in this position. Used to be a great living. Know there's a study from the Corps of Engineers [that says] too much fresh water not good. Mardi Gras Pass needs to be closed too. (Signed by participant).