Leading up to the Governor’s election, CCA Louisiana sent a list of questions to the major candidates. These are critical issues to our members and to anglers in Louisiana. Each question asked for a Yes or No response, with an opportunity for candidates to include additional comments. We included some brief background on each issue.
Here are the responses to question #3 regarding redfish. The answers are shown exactly as they were submitted to CCA and are listed in the order they were received from the candidates.
TOPIC 3: REDFISH
Conservationists have worked for years to protect and conserve Louisiana’s redfish stock, leading to the banning of commercial harvest, outlawing the use of damaging gill nets and reductions in recreational harvest. Today, our redfish stocks are once again facing challenges. Louisiana anglers are facing new, more stringent recreational regulations. Yet there are those who are working to remove gamefish status for redfish, allow commercial harvest of the species, and reintroduce gill nets to Louisiana waters.
QUESTION: As Governor, will you actively support protections for redfish, oppose any attempts to overturn the gill net ban or to alter the game fish status of redfish?
YES. Recreational fishing of redfish is more than just a hobby, it is a part of our culture and way of life. People come from all over the world to catch it and that is a huge piece of our brand. The ongoing protection of redfish is more important today than it has ever been. I will work with CCA to protect it and enhance the experience for all Louisianans for years to come.
Stephen Waguespack (R)
There is a serious problem with the redfish population in Louisiana. I believe that this species that is so important to our culture must be preserved for our private fishermen as a gamefish, and as Governor will oppose surrendering them to the commercial fishing industry. I oppose wasteful fishing practices, and so as Governor will oppose overturning the gill net ban.
Jeff Landry (R)
YES. This has long been a contentious issue, and one that Louisiana settled in the 1990’s.
Shawn Wilson (D)
John Schroder (R)
YES. As Governor, I will actively support protections for redfish and oppose any attempts to overturn the gill net ban or alter the game fish status of redfish. The conservation efforts that have been undertaken to protect and conserve Louisiana’s redfish stock should be recognized and continued. Redfish are a valuable resource for recreational anglers and play a significant role in our coastal ecosystem. We must ensure their sustainability for future generations by maintaining the ban on commercial harvest, preventing the reintroduction of damaging gill nets, and preserving their game fish status. I have worked to protect redfish, speckled trout, bull reds, and other fish in the legislature and will continue to work with CCA to do so as Governor.
Sharon Hewitt (R)
YES. I’ll support protections for redfish and I will oppose any attempt to overturn the gill net ban or any attempt to alter the game fish status of redfish.
Hunter Lundy (I)
NOTE: Answers no longer reflect those of Rep. Richard Nelson who announced his withdrawal from the Louisiana governor’s race on Sept. 20th