SEE UPDATE Some have given me a hard time for it, others don’t see why it’s a big deal. So let me explain.
I wrote this article a few months ago in January 2018, and things have changed since then.
Unfortunately, I won’t be renewing my membership with CCA Louisiana this year.
They’re not supporting HB 391, a house bill written to fight for our right to fish tidal waters.
Yes, I know the bill isn’t perfect and not every single menial detail is addressed by it, but it’s a start in the right direction.
Besides, it bothers me that they haven’t said a thing about water access until this bill came out, and now all the sudden they’re making recommendations against HB 391.
This leads me to believe they haven’t been 100% transparent with me, and instead recommend a long and arduous study to stall the issue, rather than resolve it to the benefit of their members.
Actions are louder than words.
If they really cared to do this study on water access, they would have said something years ago, but they didn’t.
So I’m not renewing my membership.
Why would I ever be a member of the Coastal Conservation Association?
Isn’t CCA an outdated organization?
No, I don’t believe so.
I am a member of CCA Louisiana for several reasons, here they are:
Nets must be the oldest way of fishing, and they were the tool of choice for commercial fishermen here in Louisiana.
Gill nets were used to harvest fish and bring them to market so hard-working men could make an honest living.
But when redfish came into high demand, amateurs saw a quick buck and began leaving “set nets” (a kind of gill net) lying around the marsh.
These nets indiscriminately killed fish and would get stuck on unwary lower units.
To make a long story short, the CCA stepped in and motivated legislators to do away with these things.
I believe the marsh is a better place as a result of it.
Every now and then legislation is introduced to bring back gill nets, or make some kind of provision for them.
My skin crawls at the thought, but I am glad to know CCA is there to thwart such endeavors at every turn.
And they have!
Since former LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon (a man with a distaste for recreational fishing) tried killing the program, CCA has agreed to take it over.
For that I am thankful.
Many anglers have put their time, dollars and energy into tagging these fish so we can better understand them, I’d hate for that to go to waste.
Since they’ve taken over the program it’s been run into the ground, and the data isn’t being used to benefit our fishery.
It took some time, but now it’s clear that it was nothing more than a gesture to appease inshore anglers, the same anglers who are angry that CCA has sat idle on real issues like water access.
There are more reasons, some of which are personal.
I’ve met with the folks at CCA Louisiana and talked to them about conservation and Louisiana’s inshore anglers.
I feel they genuinely care about inshore anglers and to dismiss an opportunity to be a member would be foolhardy.
I’m not blind to what’s going on.
My personal brand and Louisiana Fishing Blog are growing.
And with that growth, I come a little closer to my vision of what I’d like Louisiana’s inshore fishing to be.
So it would be incredibly stupid of me to not build bridges, or even burn them down.
A small part of that is being a card-carrying CCA member.
Tight lines, y’all
You aren't powerless to prevent the loss of water access, join myself and other concerned citizens at the Louisiana Sportsmen's Coalition.
They are the only grassroots organization fighting for your fishing freedom!
Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.
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