With over 19,000 square miles of wetlands, our great state has earned a reputation for being the "Sportsman's Paradise", offering world-class hunting and fishing.
People travel from all over the world to visit. When they do, they spend their dollars on lodging, guides, tackle, fuel, equipment and more.
This has fostered a strong economy, bordering $1 billion annually, that hundreds of businesses and thousands of people rely on to earn a living.
Simply put, recreational fishing is more than just a pastime, it's what keeps the economy ticking.
It's true. Every week we are hearing more and more stories of navigable water being restricted from the public.
Consider this question: Why should people spend money on fishing if there is nowhere to fish in the first place?
Why should anyone visit Louisiana if they know they can threatened (or worse) for simply going fishing?
If you think this is all far-fetched, then keep reading Jamie's true story below.
About 15 years ago my then 75 year old dad was watching a fishing show in Louisiana and said that he’d like to visit the state and go fishing, I told him to find us a place and we’ll check it out. I guess he got lucky and found us a guide in Golden Meadow that even recommended a place to stay.
We fell in love with it and made it an annual trip that over the years grew from just two of us to group of eighteen anglers fishing Louisiana over the last 15 years.
Some of the guys enjoyed it as much as we did and booked their own trips to take their families. We would buy so many pounds of shrimp that we would even hire the locals to pull the heads off and pack them up for us.
But today we no longer visit Louisiana, on account of not being able to access the waters that the guides had been taking us for years. We quit coming to your state last year and are spending our many thousands of dollars on trips in our home state.
I would love to have brought my grandsons to Louisiana to experience y'all's great fishing, but all those plans are not going to happen thanks to the greed in your state.
Y’all come to Texas, we welcome all visitors.
Jamie's story isn't the only one. There are many others like it and, as the word gets out, fewer people will visit every year and more locals will give up fishing.
This wouldn't be such a big deal if we could make short work of the water access issue, but fact of the matter is that there are special circumstances and powerful people aligned against that happening:
Louisiana's constitution is based not on Common Law, but Napoleonic Code, leaving wiggle room for the right lawyer to interpret the law in their favor.
Oil and land management companies have the capital and resources to foot the bill to have law legislated in their favor, and have been doing so for decades.
Louisiana's #1 organization fighting for fishing freedom, Coastal Conservation Association, has failed to offer anything being polite lip service, one reason being that the aforementioned companies are their major sponsors.
If something doesn't change, sport fishing related businesses are facing a very ugly demise.
One where they are slowly starved of customers over a long period of time before eventually shutting down.
Or it may not take years, it could happen very suddenly like it did to Bob's Bayou Black Marina in Gibson, Louisiana:
Williams, Inc. plans to put a gate or floating structure to end all access out of Bob's Marina into the Shell Barge Canal/Intracoastal waterway.
We are in shock and highly upset by this decision as this will end a small family business that Bob grew and maintained himself everyday for 25+ years to allow others to easily do the things they and he loved to do.
This won't just affect us here at Bob's, soon there won't be any waterways to fish.
Several other canals back here are currently being gated off and will continue to be gated off.
Louisiana Sportsmen's Coalition is comprised not just of sportsmen, but businesses serving sportsmen.
It's our goal to ensure that your livelihood and ability to provide for your loved ones is not interfered with.
But we can't do this all on our own, we can only do this with the power of every sportsmen and small business coming together.
We are not powerless to stop this growing trend of posted water. We can stop it to save thousands of businesses and jobs and save Louisiana's legacy. But we can't do it alone, as we are stronger together. That's why we are called Louisiana Sportsmen's Coalition. Join us today and
The majority of staff at Louisiana Sportsmen's Coalition work on a volunteer basis, donating their time and effort to further the cause. But some things must be paid for, such as legal counsel and research from experienced lawyers, administrative expenses, advertising, marketing and more.
We do our best with what we have, but need your help to keep going, especially considering that people opposed to your fishing freedom have far more resources to work with!
Copyright 2020 Louisiana Sportsmen's Coalition, Inc. All rights reserved.