Louisiana re-opens most state waters to recreational fishing
Waters closed since the BP oil spill have been re-opened in a move welcomed by the sportfishing industry (and we suspect local anglers!)
Alexandria, VA - July 15, 2010 - In a move lauded by the sportfishing industry, on July 14, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced that 86 percent of state marine waters are now open to recreational fishing. Louisiana's state coastal waters had been closed because of the BP oil spill. The small percentage of waters that are still closed can be viewed at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/?id=1907.
"The decision by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to reopen most of the state's waters to recreational fishing demonstrates that there is an abundance of fishing opportunity still available in the Gulf of Mexico," said American Sportfishing Association Vice President Gordon Robertson. "While the oil spill has had a direct effect on some areas, tremendous recreational fishing is available in nearly all waters in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Texas, and in the majority of federal waters offshore."
On June 24, the Alabama Department of Conservation announced that catch and release fishing is allowed in state marine waters. Nearly all of Florida's Gulf waters are open to fishing, and Texas waters have not been impacted. While fishing is closed in the Mississippi Sound off of Mississippi, ample fishing opportunities are available in many of the state's bays and other inland waters. Approximately two-thirds of the federal waters beyond three miles offshore remain open to fishing.
"As someone who has heard about and seen first-hand the abundance of quality catches being landed by anglers, I encourage everyone to come check out the excellent fishing that's available," noted Dave Cresson, Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana's Executive Director and CEO. "The commission's action will encourage anglers and their families to head to the coast and should give a real boost to the bait and tackle shops and other recreational fishing dependent businesses in Louisiana and the entire Gulf.
"Our message to anyone who enjoys fishing in the Gulf region is simple: go fishing," concluded Robertson.
As of today, BP says oil has stopped leaking into the Gulf for the first time since April. BP has been slowly dialing down the flow as part of a test on a new cap. Engineers are now monitoring the pressure to see if the broken well holds.
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