Louisiana is the only Gulf State that still allows commercial netting of menhaden within a half-mile of shore. But that may change if Louisiana House Bill 535 becomes law, according to NOLA.com.
The bill recently passed the Louisiana House in a vote of 67 to 28, and it now goes to the state senate for a vote. It’s designed to minimize environmental damage from commercial net boats along the coast. Fish species such as spotted seatrout and red drum also are affected by menhaden netting, according to anglers, fishing guides, and conservation groups.
“It’s disgusting to see a dozen to 50 or more dead redfish floating in the surf or washing up on beaches,” says Chris Macaluso, marine fisheries director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, about the effect of menhaden netting near shore. “People get angry when they see that.”
Menhaden (or pogies) are a shad-like marine baitfish species vitally important to a far-ranging, dynamic marine…