National Fisherman


LAFITTE, La. (AP) — After days of lumbering toward the Gulf Coast, the storm system Karen dissipated Sunday as storm preparations in the region were called off or scaled back.

As tides began to recede along coastal Louisiana, crews worked to pick up sandbags and some fishermen took to the water. In Lafitte, the tide had water levels along Bayou Barataria lapping at the edges of piers and sections of the main roadway into the small fishing village prone to flooding.

"We're very lucky," fisherman Ken LeBeau said. He added that he was anxious to get out shrimping Sunday — while the tide is up, shrimp may be farther inland; fisherman don't have to venture as far out to catch them.

The community has been swamped with flooding by several storms since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many are just recovering from Hurricane Isaac last summer. Some are in the process of having their homes raised, and Mayor Timothy Kerner said levees are being planned for the area.

"It was a blessing from God that we actually dodged a bullet this time," Kerner said. He estimated that 40,000 sandbags had been put out and said the precautionary measure was worth it: "It's always easier to pick up sandbags than to clean up a flood."

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the remnants of Karen were moving eastward off the coast. Forecasters expected what remains of Karen — which had been a tropical storm, then a depression — to continue moving generally east over the next day to two days. Rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches were expected. Even as residents breathed a sigh of relief, forecasters and emergency officials warned them to keep an eye on developments.

Read the full story at the Longview News-Journal>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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