Red Snapper proposals stir controversy

NEW ORLEANS -- Earlier this week, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries proposed a lottery for 150 anglers who would be granted an unlimited red snapper season of two fish per day. The proposal has not gone over well among the fishing community, including the Coastal Conservation Agency.

"Unfortunately the department of wildlife and fisheries and governors office put out a proposal ... that is basically the precursor to catch shares and fish tags," Rad Trasher, director of development for CCA Louisiana, said. "They don't work in the recreational segment, and we have seen that time after time. You shouldn't have to create winners and losers, and that's what this program does. It is spearheaded by a bunch of people who are not fisherman, that are not from the state of Louisiana and it is hurting not only the fisherman but the marina owners, the sporting goods stores, and everybody in between."

Many Louisianians believe fish surveys in the Gulf are flawed and do not accurately portray the multitude of Red Snapper in Louisiana and federal waters.

The Louisiana Legislature has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a measure urging the fisheries department to scrap its 150-angler pilot study. The vote was 85-6 in the state House and 29-0 in the state Senate.